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Library Staff Resources (Lake Worth): Training

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Circulation Training

Library of Congress Classification

At PBSC we use the alphanumeric Library of Congress Classification System. This allows us to easily and efficiently keep track of large amounts of books.

How to Read a Call Number

A call number tells you exactly where to go to find the book, or where the book should be returned. The call number is made up of letters, whole numbers, decimals, a publication date, and occasionally a volume and/or copy number. This allows for each book to have a specific location.  

A call number looks like this on the spine of the book:






○ Alphanumeric Subject

The LCC system uses the beginning letters and first line of numbers to indicate the subject of the book (in this example, LA 212: Education > History of Education > United States). As you might expect, the letters are ordered alphabetically.

The numbers immediately following the first letter(s) are read as whole numbers. Sometimes there are decimals in the first number. In these cases, the whole numbers are read as before, but the numbers following the decimal are read as decimals. 

○ Cutter Numbers

The next part of the call number (.R423 in above example) is referred to as the Cutter number. Cutter numbers contain letters, which are ordered alphabetically, and decimal numbers. Some books have two Cutter numbers. They are both read as decimals even though the second Cutter number does not contain a decimal (in order to distinguish the two numbers).

○ Date of Publication

The last number in the above example, 2004, is the date of publication. This is to be shelved in chronological order for the same book. For example, a 2004 second edition comes after the original 1978 publication but before the 2006 third edition, and so forth.





○ Volume Numbers   

Sometimes a call number will contain a volume number, labeled v.1, v.2, etc. These are shelved in whole number numerical order within the set of books.

 ○ Copy Numbers

A call number will contain a copy number if there are multiple copies of the same book on the shelf, labeled c.1, c.2, etc. These are shelved in whole number order.

→ one thing to always keep in mind when shelving books and shelf-reading is that nothing comes before something.

If a book contains no volume number, that book comes before a book within a set that does contain a volume number. If a book contains no date in the call number, that book comes before the same book that does have a date in the call number.



Shelf Reading


Shelf Reading is when you browse the collection to make sure books are in the correct call number order. This practice is essential to keeping the book shelves, or stacks, organized. A log will be kept at the Circulation Desk where you can record your progress.

On your shelf reading log enter the following information:

  • Date
  • Name
  • Starting call number (the first call number read)
  • Ending call number (last call number read)
  • Start time
  • End time

When reading each section consider:

Is the item in the right place when compared to its "neighbors?" 

  • If yes, continue reading.
  • If no, remove the item and determine where it should go.
    • Items that are only slightly out of place can be immediately shelved.
    • Items that are "far from home" should be brought to the Circ. Desk.
    • The item may have been previously marked as missing and should be checked in.


There should be sufficient room on each shelf to accommodate the end brace and extra space for book re-shelving. Each collection varies in how much shelf room it has for all of its books, but just remember to leave an even amount of space at the end of every shelf--usually about 1/4 of the total shelf space. Do not crowd shelves or cramp books!


Edging books is simply pulling the books close to the edge of the shelf and evening out the row. To ensure that the books are easily accessible, it’s good to edge them so that the patron can easily see the call number and spine title of the book.

When edging, be sure to pull the book from the spine or from farther back on the top of the book.


Shelf Maintenance

Shelf maintenance is a general term for the work done in the stacks. All of the work that takes place in the stacks is intended for the betterment of the library. When the stacks are organized in an orderly fashion it easy to find what you’re searching for.


There are book carts for shelving books located in the stacks and one behind the circulation desk. Start shelving rounds with the cart behind the circulation desk. Before shelving the books, place the books on the cart in order. If the books are in order before they are shelved, it makes the shelving process considerably more efficient.

Shelving a book is simply putting that book back where it belong. The main stacks are arranged by subject (A-Z).

Please note that all books marked “Ref.” on the spine belong in the reference area. A “Ref.” book should not be shelved in the circulating stacks area; likewise, a book for the circulating collection should never go in the reference stacks. These are the most commonly mixed up books, but also be mindful of books marked Reserve, oversized, Spanish and Popular (orange spine) books.

Check call numbers around the items being shelved

All items should be brought to the edge of the shelf

If an area is too full to properly shelve, shift.

If you are not sure, ask! Do not guess.

Front Desk Circulation/Public Service


Customer Service Skills

The public desk is one of the first places students go in a library, and so it is critical to exercise high-quality customer service at all times. The following tips should be followed in order to provide excellent service to each and every library patron.

  • Be polite and friendly at all times to all patrons
  • If you are asked a question to which you do not know the answer, redirect the student to the library staff member who will be able to answer his or her question.
  • Respect. You should act respectful at all times towards students, co-workers, and supervisors. All inquiries by ALL patrons are confidential, and should be attended to immediately to the best of your abilities.

 Where to Redirect Library Patrons with Questions

If you receive a question that you are not certain of the answer to, you should refer the student to the appropriate staff member. Below is a list of library staff members, and the different areas they handle and on which they can answer questions. If you are still unsure as to whom you should direct a question, contact your supervisor.



  • Research Questions
  • Using and Searching the Databases
  • Looking for Articles
  • Choosing Reliable Resources
  • APA/MLA paper; references


  • Reserve Items
  • Room Reservations
  • Resource Check-out and Renewal
  • Paying for Library Fines
  • Checking Out a Laptop, iPad, kindle
  • Passwords and Username for Temporary Network Sign-on
  • Use & Problems with Library Computers, Printers, Copy Machines, Etc.




Circulation 1 duties

  • Check out/Check in Materials        
  • Help students with photo copier, Panther Card Machine, Open study rooms  
  • Stamp due date cards          
  • File incoming books

Library Tech/Interceptor duties          

  • Temp. Supervisor on floor: resolve minor problems     
  • Helps students navigate Library Catalog, Dibbs         
  • Take incoming calls      
  • Pay Student fines, Release or Place holds from main frame
  •             *passwords assigned
  • Check out/check in Materials

Opening/Closing Procedures

  • Opening:
  • Turn on big monitors (one in gallery & one in main room)
  • Check paper in copier & student printer (add paper if needed)
  • 2nd floor file old newspapers & date daily newspapers and put on new stand
  • Once students arrive assist with students needs


Closing Procedures


  • Notify Students at 30min., 15min, 10min & 5min, that the library is closing
  • Turn off big monitors
  • Push in chair
  • On 2nd floor file magazine & reference books left out
  • Lock doors at closing

Library Information

Hours of Operation: Library hours are as follows: Monday – Thursday 7:30am – 9:30pm, Friday 7:30am to 5:00pm 2nd floor 7:30 to 8:00pm 3rd floor

Important Phone Numbers: A list of up to date library staff and department numbers are located

At each public service desk.



The majority of the questions you get at the information desk will be repeat questions. Here are some quick answers.


 1. How late are you open?  See listed above


2.  Is there a bathroom on this floor? Public Bathrooms are outside of the library on the south

     side of the building.


3.  Can someone help me find this book?  If a Circ. 2 person is available, call on Walkie or

     you can help the student yourself (if it’s slow)


4.  Do you have this book? Library Tech/Circ. can show the student how to use the catalog

     to find the book





5.  My login information will not work for the computers. What should I do?

     Try again then reset password in Panther Web…..Still having a problem refer to IT help desk





6. Can I check out a laptop computer from the library?

     Yes. Students must have their Panther ID Card & state I.D., 3 hour check out, must sign

      PAWS each semester. Laptops are allowed to leave the library.


7. My professor put a book on reserve for my class. Where do I go?

    Reserve items are behind circulation desk. All reserve items can be checked out at the

    Circulation desk for 2 hours


8.  How do I check out a study room?  Register in DIBS

9.  Do I need my ID to print or make copies? Yes, Money can be added to the card by the

     machine on 1st & 3rd floor OR electronically from debit card thru the Panther Card office  



10.  Does the library have a lost and found? Any found items are place in a basket at each public

       Service desk. Security picks up items throughout the day.


11.  How do I put money on my Panther Card? There is a machine on the 1st or 3rd floor to put

       dollar bill in the machine for the Panther Card.  You can add money from your debit card to

        your Panther Card electronically from the computer. 

Library Policies

Drinking: While working at the desk, employees are allowed drinks in a sealable bottle.

Check out policy: All patrons must present some official form of ID such as a PantherCard or a driver's license.  If a student does not have either and needs a calculator send them to the Tech on duty.  

Changing Schedules: It is possible for schedules to be changed from time to time. Check When-to-Work for your daily schedule. Clear any time off with your immediate supervisor ahead of time.

Breaks: Employees can take a 15-minute break but must communicate they are taking a break.  If a FWS student works more than five hours they must take a lunch break.  Staff must take a lunch break after 5.5 hours. Lunches and breaks are on your When to Work Schedule.