Librarian Black Belt Required - ARSL | Association for Rural & Small

Black Belt
What do we do in libraries?
We simply assist patrons
in their search for
some just don’t get the picture
Face of a man
that looks like
Vladimir Lenin?
Woman walking
past a tree
toward bridge?
some aren’t playing with a full deck
other’s lights are on but nobody’s home
a few don’t have both oars in the water
or have splinters in the windmill of the mind
some are shy a couple of bricks
or perhaps they have
light showers versus
brain storms
maybe their brain jello hasn’t set
•If a large male
roaming around the
library began
screaming profanity
at his step-daughter
who was quietly
doing homework at
a computer?
•If two teenage males
began a verbal
altercation at a study
table and then one
stood up appearing
ready to strike the
•If a teenage female
informed you that she
was approached by an
older patron who
asked her for personal
information and then
he suggested that they
take a ride in his car?
•If a middle-aged
couple, both using
computers, loudly and
profanely, refused to
relinquish the
computers when their
time had expired?
WHAT is Library Safety & Security?
Is it knowing karate
techniques for:
• Non-shushing
• Patrons with more
than $5.00 in fines
• Renegade kids in
the children’s area
Perhaps there’s more to safety and security
than karate training…
Being free from danger
or risk within a facility.
Being free from danger or risk
from outside a facility.
I can’t find
any of the
books I want!
Let’s look,
Libraries - quiet places where
thoughtful, intelligent people
relax, read, research, and
generally find pleasure in the
calm atmosphere where there’s
nothing to worry about.
Thoughtful & intelligent?
“Do your elevators go upstairs?”
“Where are they
holding Elvis
and where can I
write to him?”
Not only do they ask
interesting questions but they
do interesting things as well…
Many working in libraries don’t think anything
bad will happen, especially at their library.
True story - A female staff member was closing
a small branch library alone…
Bad things happen to good people,
especially when good people aren’t thinking
about and preparing for what could happen.
Don’t become a statistic—
”If you are prepared
you have no need to fear.”
To observe or detect .
To watch closely for purposes of control.
To oversee or regulate.
To determine the significance
or condition of by careful
appraisal and study.
To realize beforehand; foresee.
To act before another has had time to.
To prevent or forestall by taking
countermeasures in advance.
To think carefully about, especially
in order to make a decision.
To pay attention to; regard.
“No two security situations are quite
alike. Human interaction is always
dynamic and never static. Rarely is
there a black-and-white solution to
an incident; it is almost always gray.”
“The whole idea…is to empower you
to be able to respond to a situation
rather than simply react.”
Baltimore County Public Library, edited by Arlene Anderson. Help Manual: A Guide for Emergency Situations. BCPL (December
1995) - Covers Building Emergencies, Medical Emergencies, Problem Behavior, Service Inquiries and Complaints, Theft/Loss
Prevention. The format provides a definition of the problem and action steps that should be undertaken by appropriate staff.
Campus Crime Prevention Programs. The complete library safety and security manual: A comprehensive resource manual for
academic and public library professionals and law enforcement officers, Goshen, KY (2001)
Cravey, Pamela. Protecting Library Staff, Users, Collections and Facilities: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians. New York, NealSchuman (2001) - Contents include: Library Security Today, An Overview; Security of the General Collection; Security of Users and
Employees (especially, Expectations of a Safe Environment); Security of Electronic Files and Systems; Security of Special
Collections; Security for Special Events; Library Security: Legal, Personnel, and Vendor Considerations. Especially helpful are
sample policies, such as the “Draft Workplace Violence Policy”.
Graham, Warren. The Black Belt Librarian, Chicago: American Library Association (2012)
Kahn, Miriam B. Disaster response and planning for libraries, 2nd Edition Chicago: American Library Association (2003)
McNeil, Beth & Johnson, Denise J. Patron Behavior in Libraries: A Handbook of Positive Approaches to Negative Situations,
Chicago: American Library Association (1999)
Shuman, Bruce A. Library Security and Safety Handbook: Prevention, Policies, and Procedures. Chicago: American Library
Association (1999) - Contents include: Overview: Library Security and Safety, Protecting Materials in Libraries, Problem Behaviors in
Libraries, Preparing for and Reacting to Security Incidents in Libraries, Emergency and Disaster Management Policies and
Procedures; Legal and Ethical Issues of Security and New Technology, Electronic Security Issues and the Future of Library Security.
Toner, Eric S. Creating Situational Awareness: A Systems Approach. (2009)

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