Cell phone use

To:  Staff of Technical Services
From:  Rick Schulz
Subject: Cell Phones in TSD
Date: April 9, 2004

As cell phone use has proliferated, the ringing of cell phones in the Technical Services work area has gotten to the point that it constitutes at times a major distraction. I have received a number of complaints from staff members about difficulty concentrating on their work because of the ringing of cell phones and/or conversations taking place on them by neighboring staff. Interruptions are also caused by the confusion of personal cell phone signals with business related calls on business phones. We need to be sensitive to the needs of staff to be able to conduct the business of the library without unwarranted interference by personal phone use.  Staff who must have the use of personal cell phones at work should either set their phones to vibrate to signal in-coming calls or set the ring volume low enough not to be heard beyond their assigned immediate work space.  I ask that staff members work with their supervisors to determine a volume setting that will not disturb other unit members or staff in the surrounding work area.  Those who leave their cell phones behind when departing the work area, should turn these phones off before departing.  Naturally, all phones should be turned off when the staff member is in attendance at business meetings, training sessions and other job related functions.

The policy on the use of Departmental business phones also applies to personal cell phone use.  When at work and on duty, phones are to be used for business/job related purposes and for personal emergencies only.  We have always interpreted personal “emergencies” in a very broad way and will continue to do so.  In the category of emergency phone use we try to make a reasonable accommodation for critical quality of life activities, for example, communicating with physicians and medical labs regarding health advisement issues, lab tests, etc. relating to yourself or a member of your immediate family; communicating with a mechanic who may be working on your car and needs to talk to you about whether you will allow a certain repair to be made or tell you when your car will be ready for pick up; receiving a call from a retail firm or service agent to confirm a delivery schedule or service visit when this cannot be done after hours, on weekends or on personal break time; and other reasons conforming to the character of the foregoing.  To avoid misunderstandings regarding personal emergency calls, it is always advisable to alert your supervisor, their designated surrogate or their immediate supervisor beforehand about your special circumstances of the moment

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Rick Schulz