I work in the library in a private college for international students and its been enrolment week. We've had new management and they have their own ideas of how I work thing and its not going well to say the least.
But we've had to adapt, as we were so far in there was nothing to do but plough on and hope for the best.
I'm only there casual three days a week, but I've Ben there for almost a year and I handle the new students getting ID cards. Normally I check their details on the student database where they have been enrolled. But due to the management, most of them aren't on there. So we assign their borrowers numbers without fully checking.
So, I left her a note atop the papers explaining the duplication of work. I'll probably get a call about it Monday. It's not completely her fault, as admin should ave dine their job properly and had the database going, but I am annoyed that this sort of thing could have been prevented had she listened to me.
Any suggestions own how to approach this if I do get asked? I probably will and the girl who is on Mondays and Tuesdays has her own strange way of working and doesn't tell people what she does.
This situation is kind of confusing for me. Could you clarify a few things?
1) Are you assigning numbers for library cards only or are these their main student IDs?
2) What is the normal procedure when everything is added to the database on time? From your description, I assume the sequence is: (i) Students are added to the school database. (ii) Someone at the library manually copies the information from the database to the library system and assigns the student a number. (iii) The student comes in to receive a physical card with that number. Is that correct?
3) Who usually assigns the numbers? You? The boss? Any library employee?
4) Is there an official policy for how to handle students who aren't in the database yet, or are you having to make it up on the fly? When you add a student to the library database, is it obvious if the same student is already in the database? (E.g., will the system flag it as a duplicate?) How do you distinguish between duplicate entries versus two students with the same name?
5) When students started coming in without being in the database, did you discuss the situation with your boss before starting to assign numbers? Or did you first discuss it with her after she started assigning duplicate numbers?
If there is no official policy for handling this situation, then I think you should approach it from the standpoint that one is needed. The current situation is excellent evidence of why one is needed, so that everyone will be on the same page. The procedures need to clearly lay out how you should handle students who aren't yet in the database and how to ensure that students are not assigned a second number once they're added to the main database. However, if this situation isn't covered by policy, then you should be prepared to be told that you should have talked to your boss before you proceeded and for people to critique the way you documented your improvised procedure. If you improvised to handle an uncommon situation, then you share some of the responsibility for your boss/colleagues not knowing what's going on.
If there are conflicting policies, e.g., you are only supposed to assign numbers to students already in the system and
you're not supposed to turn away a student asking for an ID card, then point out the conflicting policies and ask your boss to clarify. Get it documented in writing which policy you are supposed to follow in case of conflicts. Again, be prepared to be told that you should have asked before proceeding.
If you were following official policy, then point out that this is happening a lot this term due to the database issues and everyone (including yourself) could use a policy refresher to make sure this goes smoothly.