Library Committee Handbook

Administrative Council

Staff Coverage for Service Points

The Administrative Council discussed staff coverage of service points in emergency situations in Fall 2003. This discussion document is intended to broaden this issue slightly wider to include any situation in which staff cannot be present at a service point that is scheduled to be open.


Immediate problems arise when there is insufficient staff to keep a unit open.   The Administrative Council’s Fall 2003 discussion concluded  that each Division should work out procedures to provide coverage to units that could otherwise not stay open during scheduled hours.  Implementation revealed several problems and misunderstandings that led to some unit heads closing or planning to close their libraries in the face of foreseeable or unforeseeable staff shortages, despite posted hours.


There are additional factors that are important to the plans we develop to provide staff coverage for service points: 

Recent experience has shown that Divisions are not always able to provide coverage on either a planned or unplanned basis.  To date, only a few Divisions have developed written coverage plans.

Does the Administrative Council continue to endorse this approach or does it prefer to ask Library Administration to assume responsibility for finding coverage for staffing shortages?