Skip to Search

Guidelines For Providing 5-Star Service
Vision Statement

The George A. Smathers Libraries ongoing mission is to support the evolving teaching, instruction and research endeavors at the University of Florida. Providing intellectual and physical access to all forms of recorded knowledge for our primary constituency is the fundamental responsibility of the Libraries. Therefore, our goal is to assess the University constituency needs for library resources and services and to ensure library programs meet these needs. An important objective of this goal is to develop collection and service plans that reflect institutional program priorities and that meet 90% of constituency needs for information and services. In addition, fostering cooperative efforts in local, state, and national information programs for the benefit of University of Florida faculty, students, and staff, the citizens of Florida and the scholarly community is an integral necessity. Moreover, by actively creating the library of the 21st Century, the aim is to ensure the future vitality of the Libraries' mission.

Listed below are guiding principles in four areas:

Our Users

  • We center everything we do on the needs of our user community who are at the heart of every decision we make.
  • We seek out and listen carefully to user suggestions, complaints, and statements of need


  • We recruit, hire and reward staff dedicated to improving their work.
  • We achieve excellence by direct involvement in making decisions about our work.
  • We have the opportunity, responsibility and authority to engage in continuous improvement of services and processes.
  • We are committed to staff development and empowerment.
  • We value public service activities as an integral part of our assignment

Our Environment

  • We create a supportive atmosphere for innovation, experimentation and risktaking.
  • We are committed to fair, honest and respectful treatment of all individuals.
  • We affirm the values of collegiality, humor and community in the workplace.
  • We are committed to maintaining identifiable serrvice points.

Our Commitment to Service

  • We are committed to outstanding and accurate service to our users.
  • We continuously improve our service through responsible stewardship of our resources.
  • We are committed to collaboration, coordination, and outstanding service to one another in all areas where our work is interdependent.
  • We are committed to continuous evaluation of service quality and effectiveness.

Meeting high standards of Reference Desk Service includes:

  • Exercising initiative, judgment, courtesy and flexibility in meeting the needs of library users
  • Offering active, rather than passive, assistance to users
  • Ensuring that the Reference Desk area will not be unattended for more than a few minutes.
  • Making extra efforts for users who have special needs
  • Following up on questions when possible ("Did you find the answer?")
  • Using Reference Desk hours appropriately; thus, scheduling student appointments, brief (or lengthy) meetings with other staff members, conversations, etc. at non-desk times.

(Guidelines last revised January 17, 1997)

University of Florida Home Page