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Consider making it your practice not to page patrons to the telephone. PA announcements are an unwelcome (and avoidable) distraction, and "seek and find" personal pages are a nuisance to the staff, who may also find them demeaning.

Remember that malevolent spouses and the like have used paging to harass their victims, and it's not possible for library staff to tell an innocent caller from an abuser.

We refer callers pleading an emergency to our campus police. If it's a legitimate crisis, we'll page the patron on the advice of an officer.

I have to admit, this is not something that I thought of. I am at a small academic institution, so looking for someone when someone else on the phone asks if so and so is here is not an option. We don't page people or anything like that. Even if we wanted, which we don't, it would not be practical.


At a former place of employment, we asked the caller for their information and said if we could find the person they were looking for, we'd ask that person to call them. This let the patron decide if they wanted the caller to know they were at the library or not. It seemed to work well and balance the need for privacy with being accommodating in cases of emergency.


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