Skip to main content


Policies and procedures for the staff of Parsons Music Library


Shelf reading means checking to be sure that items are shelved in the correct order. This is a VERY IMPORTANT TASK! If things are out of place it makes it harder for patrons and staff to find materials. Everyone is expected to complete 15 minutes of shelf reading per shift. Record with your name, time and date, and the last call number that you read on the sheet in Schedule Notebook. Order for shelf reading will be posted.

In addition to visually scanning the shelves, we sometimes use a mobile app called "Shelflister." 

Periodic “vacations” from shelf reading may be declared by Melanie or Linda, at their discretion.

Shelflister Mobile App


The Music Library has a staff iPad for use when shelf reading.  It contains an app called “Shelflister” that generates lists, in call number order, of items that should be on the shelves.  It also allows users to mark items that are missing so that we can look for them later.

Here’s how it works:

1. Touch the “Shelflister” icon on the iPad’s main screen.  This will open the app and display the home screen


2. Locate the point where you plan to begin shelf reading, based on where the person before you left off, and enter the barcode of the first item in the “Starting barcode” field (make sure you get the numbers right!)

3. Select a random item a couple of shelves away from your starting point and enter its barcode into the “Ending barcode” field.  It doesn’t really matter which item you choose; you just need something to use for the end of your list.  Then click the “Get List” button.

4. You will see a list of items that should be on the shelf in the order that is displayed.  Locate each item on the shelf and touch the little box next to the call number.  A check will appear to indicate that you found the item.  NOTE: if a letter appears in the "St" (Status) column, that means that the item is not supposed to be on the shelf for one reason or another ("M" = missing, "C" = charged, "P" = in process, etc), so you don't need to worry about it.

If you come across an item on the list that is NOT on the shelf (after looking around in the general vicinity), touch its call number, and you will get this screen:

Touch the "Submit" button to report the item missing.  This will add its call number to a text file that Linda or Melanie will check later.  Then touch the "back" button twice to return to your list (warning: your old check marks will disappear.  Don't worry about that, since they are only there to help you keep your place in the list.  They are not recorded, nor do they become part of the text file).

Special Borrowers

Special Borrowers are library patrons who do not fall into the category of current UR students, staff, or faculty. With the exception of UR retirees and alumni, they do not get access to library databases (and alumni only get access to a few). There are several categories of Special Borrowers.

General Public

People aged 18 or older who reside in greater Richmond, but who do not fit in any of the categories below, pay $25 per year for UR library borrowing privileges. The Special Borrower card entitles them to borrow up to ten items from the UR libraries, with two renewals, but they are not permitted to borrow DVDs or videos.

UR Alumni/Alumnae

Graduates of UR get free, lifetime library borrowing privileges, although their registrations will periodically need to be updated in order to verify their contact information. UR Alumni/Alumnae may borrow up to ten items from the UR libraries, with two renewals, but they are not permitted to borrow DVDs or videos.

Richmond Area College Students and College Faculty

Undergraduates at schools belonging to the Richmond Academic Library Consortium (RALC) may borrow ten items, with two renewals. They should present a signed slip from their home library. Graduates and faculty from RALC schools may borrow ten items, but they don't need a slip. DVDs and videos cannot be borrowed without the permission of the Music Librarian. RALC borrowers are not issued a Special Borrower card, and they must present a valid ID from their home institution.

Richmond Area High School Students

High school students who have exhausted the resources at their school or public library may borrow up to five items, with no renewals. They must present a signed permission slip from a librarian, and they cannot borrow DVDs or videos. High school students are not issued a Special Borrower card. When entering them into the circulation system, set the expiration date for ONE MONTH (not one year) from the current date.

K-12 educators and public librarians

Local K-12 educators and public librarians with a valid employer ID are eligible for a free Special Borrower card.  They have the same borrowing privileges as the general public but are not required to pay the annual fee. 

Richmond Symphony members

Active members of the Richmond Symphony are eligible for a free Special Borrower card.  They have the same borrowing privileges as the general public but are not required to pay the annual fee.  Symphony musicians who are also UR faculty do not need a Special Borrower card because their UR ID gives them faculty library privileges.

Faculty/Staff Spouses and Children

Spouses and children of current faculty and staff may borrow up to ten items, with one renewal. DVDs and videos cannot be borrowed. Spouses and children over age 12 must present their own UR ID, available from the OneCard office (in the Post Office building next to the Dining Hall). They should not use their faculty/staff relative's card.

Retired UR Faculty/Staff

Upon retirement, Faculty and staff retain their UR ID and library borrowing privileges.  They may borrow an unlimited number of items for 28 days, with two renewals.

Friends of Boatwright Library

Members of the Friends of Boatwright Library are eligible to borrow up to ten items (including DVDs), with two renewals, when they present their Friends membership card. They may not borrow videotapes.

Special Collections

The tall metal cabinet behind the circulation desk houses our Special Collections. These materials are kept out of general circulation due to their high replacement cost, fragile condition, age, and/or restricted access. Only Linda has a key to the cabinet, and patrons who want access to Special Collections materials should be referred to her.

In addition, there are some "medium rare" materials (mostly books that have been signed by their authors, and books that were brought to us from Cuba) shelved in the CD storage room.  These, too, are available only with the librarian's permission.

Spider Card Payment of Library Fines

The Music Library cannot accept SpiderCards to pay library fines or fees.  If a patron wishes to pay in this manner, please refer them to Boatwright Library.

Statistics (LibAnswers)

Whenever you get a question from a library patron (beyond just the regular act of charging/discharging materials), please log it in our statistics program, called LibAnswers.  We track the questions that we receive, and the answers that we give, for training purposes (to learn from each other, and to make sure that we give out correct information) and to demonstrate to the University that we are providing a quantifiable service to our users.


You should have been given a LibAnswers account during your initial training.  To log into LibAnswers, look for the icon on a circulation computer, or go to  If you're using the Chrome browser, you may get a yellow error screen.  Just click through it and then do the following:

1. Log in with your email address (the one that resembles your net ID) and the password that you selected.  It should be identical to your Voyager password.

2. Enter your reference transaction in the appropriate fields.  You do not need to use the "answer" field if your question is so basic (where is the bathroom? what time do you close?) that other library employees won't learn anything from it.

3. Do not enter the patron's name or other identifying information.  It is enough to say "a student asked..." or "a faculty member asked..."

4. If you'd like to review questions/answers entered by other library staff, click on "Ref Analytics" at the top and select "View/Edit Transaction."  You can also do this if you need to edit a transaction that you entered (please do not edit other people's transactions.

5. If you want to see Music Library transactions only, select "Music Library" from the Locations drop-down box and then click the blue "filter" button.

Student Evaluation (BASIC INFORMATION)

The library's Student Employee Performance Evaluation gives a student employee feedback on his or her progress in nine areas:

  • Dependability
  • Attitude
  • Adaptability
  • Initiative
  • Judgement
  • Productivity
  • Work Quality
  • Job Knowledge
  • Leadership (Student Assistants are not evaluated in this area)

Students are rated from 1 (inadequate) to 4 (exceptional) in each category. The total score is used to calculate merit increases for students who are eligible.


The purpose of the Student Employee Performance Evaluation is to facilitate communication between a student employee and his or her supervisor. It is designed to provide constructive feedback to the student employee on work performance, and thus maximize the employment experience for both student employee and supervisor.


Student employees have the opportunity to add written comments to their evaluations. While the evaluation form is placed in the student's UR employment file, it does not become part of his or her academic record.



Study Abroad

The staff of Parsons Music Library strongly supports study abroad and encourages all students to avail themselves of this opportunity. However, every student employee who goes abroad needs to be replaced in the work schedule, and this often means hiring a new student who will continue to work here in subsequent semesters. For this reason, we can't hold jobs open for students while they are studying abroad, and we can't promise that we will be able to rehire these students when they return to campus. Students who are considering study abroad need to be aware of the following policies:

  • It is the study-abroad student's responsibility to contact Melanie   or Linda before returning to campus if he/she wants to be rehired by the Music Library.
  • Except under extraordinary circumstances, students who are rehired after returning from abroad will have the same job title that they had before they left.
  • Semesters spent abroad do not count towards eligibility for merit increases 
  • If you are considering study abroad, please notify Melanie or Linda as soon as possible.




You are expected to report to work as scheduled, and to work your full shift, but we understand that unavoidable conflicts will occasionally arise. It is permissible to miss work for exams, extra class sessions, meetings with faculty, official academic events, graduate school visits, job interviews, University-sponsored performances, illness, family emergencies, religious observances, or travel immediately before or after an official break, and other events with the approval of Linda or Melanie, but you are responsible for finding a substitute to work in your place. For sudden illnesses or emergencies, please contact Linda immediately BY TELEPHONE. Work should not be missed for social events, extracurricular activities, or because you just don’t feel like coming in.

How to find a sub for yourself

As soon as you discover that you are unable to work a scheduled shift, you should post that information on the Music Library Blackboard site (click on SUB BOARD > SUBS > THREAD). The subject line of the post should include your job title and the date and time that you need coverage. There should also be some text in the Message box; otherwise Blackboard will reject the post.

If the shift in question is less than 48 hours (two days) away and no one has volunteered to cover it, you need to start contacting people individually. The CONTACTS button in Blackboard gives phone numbers and email addresses for all Music Library student employees, as well as their work schedules, which may make it easier to identify potential subs. If you have exhausted all sources and still can't find a sub, contact Melanie or Linda AT LEAST 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE. Under no circumstances should you ask someone to work for you who is not on the current roster of Music Library student employees.

Linda checks the sub postings on Blackboard every day. If you make arrangements for a sub outside of Blackboard, it is your responsibility to inform her of the schedule change.

How to sub for someone else

Everyone should check the Blackboard sub postings at least every other day. Usually, Managers sub for Managers, and Assistants for Assistants, but depending on the shift in question, these rules can be relaxed with staff permission. If you are able to take a shift that has been posted, just reply to that person’s message.

Once you volunteer to sub for a shift, and the substitution is acknowledged by Linda or Melanie (either in Blackboard or through a private communication with you), YOU OWN IT. If you find that you're unable to work a sub shift that you've volunteered for, it is up to you to find someone to cover for you. If you miss a shift that you've volunteered to cover, it will be treated as though you missed one of your own regularly scheduled shifts.

The sub system works best when everyone volunteers for extra shifts as they are able. Don’t expect one or two people to shoulder the entire burden, especially if you often need to ask others to work for you. And PLEASE don't assume that Linda will cover an evening or weekend shift by default. Librarians have lives, too!

Consequences of missing a shift

You are ultimately responsible for all of your shifts, including any extra ones that you agree to cover, and except in the case of sudden illness or emergency, the burden of finding a sub when you can't work falls on you. Failure to show up on time for a scheduled daytime shift (Mon-Fri 9-5), without prior notification or extenuating circumstances, will result in a verbal warning (1st offense), a written warning (2nd offense), or termination (3rd offense). Missing a shift after 5:00 or on a weekend, without prior notification or extenuating circumstances, may result in immediate termination. Students whose employment at the Music Library has been terminated for cause are ineligible for employment at Boatwright Library.

Suggestions for Music Library Purchases

Our books, scores, CDs, and video materials are acquired in accordance with the library's collection development policy. This policy considers a number of factors, including cost, potential for long-term use, relationship to our existing collection, and relevance to the curriculum.

With these guidelines in mind, Linda is happy to consider requests for new purchases from students, faculty, and staff. Suggestions can be dropped in the box on the circulation desk, communicated to her through e-mail, or discussed in person.


Summer Employment

During University breaks the Music Library operates on a limited schedule of 9:00 am - 1:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Budget permitting, we hire one student to work twenty hours per week during the summer months (May-August). We prefer to hire one of our existing student employees for this position, but will accept applications from any UR student if none of our own are interested. Graduating seniors are eligible to work in the summer immediately following their graduation.

Because this is a part-time position, our summer employees have often held an additional part-time job at Boatwright Library or in the Media Resource Center. This extra employment is not guaranteed, and students have to apply for it separately.