To read this content please select one of the options below:

Great Expectations: (Re)Design Motivator for Merging Traffic at the Service Desk

The Future of Library Space

ISBN: 978-1-78635-270-5, eISBN: 978-1-78635-269-9

Publication date: 15 December 2016



Merging library traffic from dispersed service points into a combined services desk is not new, and many reasons prompt this move. George Mason University, Virginia’s largest public research institution, combined a total of 10 service desks located in four libraries on three distributed campuses. To consolidate services and reduce costs, the Mason Libraries established a “one-stop” service point in each library. With the goal of “one-stop” service point in each facility, the Mason Libraries recrafted physical spaces, reviewed policies, procedures, and workflows as well as revised staff roles and responsibilities.


This chapter explores why institutions embark on redesigning the traditional library service desk; discusses how changing service needs impact desk space; and addresses the effect on public services personnel. Observations are based on highlights from the evolution of George Mason University Libraries’ goal of a “one-stop” service point in each library to provide more efficient and consistent user-focused interactions and services.


As a manager of one of the facilities, the author provides insights on achieving a “one-stop” service point.


This chapter considers library staff needs, in concert with internal effort to not only refine user services influencing changes, but also revisit policies, procedures, and workflows to align staff roles and responsibilities. Mason Libraries is one of a few university library systems trying to implement single service points in all libraries.




The author would like to thank Jamie Coniglio, Engagement & Organization Development Officer for George Mason University’s Mason Libraries, without whom this chapter would not exist.


Hannan, H.G. (2016), "Great Expectations: (Re)Design Motivator for Merging Traffic at the Service Desk", The Future of Library Space (Advances in Library Administration and Organization, Vol. 36), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 199-216.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017 Emerald Group Publishing Limited