Welcome to Lehman Library


Policies, Guidelines, and Other Indispensible Things!

We’ve very pleased to have you working for us here in Lehman Library!  Student employees, also known as General Assistants or GAs, are extremely important in providing excellent service to the entire University community.  Here are a few guidelines to help you succeed in this role, whether you are a new GA just starting in Lehman or one of our many returning workers.


For those of you providing customer service, please keep in mind that you represent the entire Columbia University Libraries system to every student, faculty member, or visitor with whom you interact.  Your first responsibility is to provide good service to our patrons.  Always be polite, helpful, and as informative as possible.  This includes ensuring that all reserves items are checked in promptly and accurately as well as checking books out and answering questions.  If you cannot answer a question, ask a full-time staff member (Karen or Al) or supervisor (Emily, Jean Pierre, or Lisa) for help.  If no one is available, take down the patron’s contact information and problem and pass it on to a supervisor.  Remember, it is always okay to ask a question.  Do not improvise or merely say, "I don’t know."

Food, drinks, laptops, walkmen, ipods, and other personal items are not permitted in the work place.  All personal items should be kept in room 317.  You may eat and drink in room 317 during scheduled breaks.

GAs are not permitted to forgive or adjust fines, override blocks, or change loan periods outside of reserves policies.  Please refer these types of situations to Karen or Al or one of the supervisors.

At times you may be asked to work at the circulation desk or assist with general library maintenance.  This includes but is not limited to reserves processing tasks, shelving, doing a pick-up, or working in the sorting area.  We expect this flexibility of all library employees.


We expect you to report to work on time for each shift.  Most often, you will be relieving another GA or full-time staff member.  If you are late, you may be preventing someone else from being able to leave.  It is also extremely important for weekend GAs to arrive on time in order to help us open and run the library, as we have less full-time staff on weekends.  Please be respectful of your fellow employees by arriving punctually.

If you cannot report to work due to illness or conflicting obligation, or if you will be late, you must notify us as far in advance as possible.  Please be sure to speak with a person rather than leaving a message:

Emily McNeil (Access/Reserves Supervisor) 854-3547 / ekm5@columbia.edu

Lisa Reist (Evening/Journalism Supervisor) 854-3547 (Lehman) / 854-0390 (Journalism) / lmr2173@columbia.edu

Jean Pierre Peguy (Tech Services Supervisor) 854-2588 / jp43@columbia.edu

Lehman Reserves Desk 854-4858

Lehman Circulation Desk 854-3794

If you are scheduled to work a reserves shift and cannot, please post this here on the blog and attempt to find a replacement.  It is our expectation that you will try to help each other (and us) out by picking up available shifts when you are able to do so. 

We expect you to work all of your scheduled shifts, including during midterm and final exam times, though if you have a scheduling conflict we will always try to accommodate your requests.

Timesheets & Payroll

Timesheets are processed electronically through Timecard.  Log in to Timecard with your UNI and password, keep accurate record of your hours, and submit your timesheet at the end of each week.  Checks arrive in 313 (supervisors’ office) on alternate Thursdays or 519 Butler for Work Study students.  Please see your supervisor with any questions about your timesheet or paycheck.


All personal information in patrons’ library account, including phone numbers, addresses, and what books they have checked out, is strictly confidential and should not be disclosed to anyone.  Sharing any of this information, or going into anyone’s account and changing anything at all, whether it is a friend or a stranger, may be grounds for dismissal.  Refer any questions concerning patron records to a full-time staff member or supervisor.  Please also read the Columbia University Libraries Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records,  which complies with New York State Law.

Working Environment

Columbia University is committed to providing a working and learning environment free from unlawful discrimination and harassment.  Consistent with this commitment and with applicable federal, state and local laws, it is the policy of the University as both an educational institution and an employer to prohibit unlawful discrimination and harassment and to provide faculty, students and staff who believe they may be the victims of either with mechanisms for seeking redress.  To that end, all students are encouraged to read the University Policy on Sexual Harassment.

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