Monday, November 6, 2017

Policies and Procedures

Policy vs. Procedure
  • Policy manual describes the why of an operation 
  • Procedure manual describes the how of an operation 
    • Blueprint of how library functions 
What should policies be? 
  • Consistent
  • Reflective of objectives and plans
  • Flexible
  • Distinguished from rules and procedures
  • Written 
Advantages of policies 
  • Available in same form to all staff 
    • In manual
    • Online 
  • Can be referred to 
  • Clarifies any potential misunderstandings 
  • Indicative of honesty and integrity 
  • Readily disseminated 
  • Available to new employees 
    • As part of training process 
  • Process of written focuses thoughts about policies 
  • Generates confidence in leadership and fairness 
Why have a manual? 
  • Orient new staff members 
  • Help in performing duties consistently
    • Gives assurance
    • Makes sure it’s done properly 
  • Assist substitute or short-term workers 
  • Help explain procedures to patrons 
  • The manual must be a reasonable size. 
Writing tips 
  • Break down tasks into chronological steps 
    • What do you do when? 
  • Use consistent terms 
  • State instructions in plain language 
    • Brief short sentences 
  • Use positive language for instructions
    • Tell people what to do 
  • Use negative language for warnings
    • Must have dire hard consequences 
  • Write procedures in second person imperative
    • “Do this” not “He or she does that” 
    • Straight forward instructions 
  • Pictures really are worth 1,000 words
  • Screen shots are really helpful 
  • Flow charts give a visual guide to decision making
    • Really helps, forces to ask right question 
  • Make the most of white space and headings
    • Must be easy to focus on 
  • Reinforce items with use of font or layout (e.g. Box around important element) 
    • E.g. Boxes around warnings 
  • If terms repeated frequently, think of short form which can be used consistently 
  • ‹ Enter › rather than Press enter key 
  • Have procedures read by lefties, sometimes we are too right-hand oriented
  • Use page protectors for items consulted often 
Sample manuals 
Roger Williams Library University of Wisconsin-Madison Library

No comments: