Safe Library Spaces: Getting By With a Little Help From Our Friends Canadian Library Association Conference Victoria, B.C. May 29th, 2014 PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS! Stephen R. Warren Library Manager, Nanaimo North Branch Vancouver Island Regional Library 6250 Hammond Bay Road, Nanaimo B.C. V9T 6M9 Mobile: 250-327-3870 Email: [email protected] Peter Thompson Senior Librarian, Greater Victoria Public Library 735 Broughton Street, Victoria, B.C. V8W 3H2 Phone: 250-382-7241 Local 373 Mobile: 250-480-8763 Email: [email protected] Our Primary Audience … Libraries and Library Systems where physical and material security is managed by library staff and not by a trained security “professional”. What friends do we have? INTERNAL: • SECURITY IS A TEAM SPORT - Other staff – including staff champions for advocacy and training; • Clear policies, procedures, manuals, best practices, record keeping; • Administrative support for the high costs of effective security; • Technology: cameras, communications, database, workstation booking software (PCReservation), black list filtering (iPrism); • Architecture; • Patron / Staff buy-in – YOU ADDRESS THE WHOLE ROOM WHEN YOU SET LIMITS “train the trainers” security becomes self-policing; What friends do we have? EXTERNAL: • Community groups information & expertise – begins with outreach to identify useful alliances (eg. Bikemobile, organizations) ; • Networking with other libraries – Cooperative Model; • Security audits; • Legal tools: • Statute law – Criminal Code, FOI & Privacy codes • Court tools - in B.C. – CSO - https://eservice.ag.gov.bc.ca/cso/index.do) Legal context A library is public space, but it is also private, regulated property B.C. Library Act [RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 264 47 A library board may … (b) suspend library privileges for breaches of the library rules, or (c) exclude from the library anyone who behaves in a disruptive manner or damages library property. Shopkeeper’s right to refuse - Case law in Canadian Courts does allow businesses to refuse service. This is commonly referred to as ‘The Shopkeepers Right To Refuse”. Signage and advertising invites the public to enter a private business property. A business owner or operator can lawfully revoke the invitation. Legal context You are allowed to use reasonable measures to remove (or have the Police remove) an individual who has broken the library’s rules. Citizen’s Arrest and Self-defence Act, S.C. 2012, c. 9) Defence — property 35. (1) A person is not guilty of an offence if they a)... are in peaceable possession of property ...; b)... believe on reasonable grounds that another person … I. ... has entered the property without being entitled by law to do so, c)… the act ... is committed for the purpose of … I. preventing the other person from entering the property, or removing that person from the property,... d)… the act committed is reasonable in the circumstances. 494. (2) … a person in lawful possession of property, … may arrest a person without a warrant if they find them committing a criminal offence on or in relation to that property … Legal context: Privacy Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act [RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 165 33.2 A public body may disclose personal information … inside Canada as follows: (e) to an officer or employee of a public body …, if the information is necessary for the protection of the health or safety of the officer, employee …; (i) to a public body or a law enforcement agency in Canada to assist in a specific investigation (i) undertaken with a view to a law enforcement proceeding, or (ii) from which a law enforcement proceeding is likely to result; This allows us to share information (reports and images) internally with staff that need to know. Legal context Over and above Provincial OHS legislation, not ensuring a safe workplace is a criminal offense! Criminal Code of Canada, R.S.C. 1985, Section 217.1 (Westray Bill 2004) Duty of persons directing work: Every one who undertakes, or has the authority, to direct how another person does work or performs a task is under a legal duty to take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to that person, or any other person, arising from that work or task. Security Ideas 1. Security is a team sport – everyone needs to play. 2. The process requires training in: • De-escalation of emotional situations; • Setting Limits; • Violence avoidance. 3. You get much better at it if you do it a lot – practice is required! 4. If you don’t manage your space, other people will be happy to do it for you. 5. Limit setting speaks over people’s shoulders to the space – discouraging a few and encouraging many. 6. It’s NEVER personal – always search for the Win-Win – even the Wookie gets to win sometimes! 7. The social conditions which ignore homelessness, addiction, poverty, and mental illness are the root causes of most of our security issues. 1987 - 1994 1987: Biggest issue: alcohol; Incident reporting and filing primitive; “Zero Tolerance” policy not yet in place – bad behaviour not consistently sanctioned; Communications / information sharing poor; No staff training; People feeling very vulnerable, insecure, and WEARY! 1989: Mental health / drug issues emerge – street life becoming more problematic; First staff training in “problem patrons” provided in response to increasing staff unease; 1992: First public text-based Internet terminals appear - problems appear eg. cyber harassment, threatening; 1994: Implementation of a Zero-tolerance policy for harassment, disruption, intoxication begins - several long-standing patrons served with long-overdue sanctions; 1996 - 2008 1996: The Web appears - brings new problems – porn; First Workstation Policy drafted tied to the BC Motion Picture Act; 2003: First Courtyard (outside the Branch) security footage becomes available; 2004: Public Service administers incident response and record keeping - our modern system of information management and dissemination begins; 2007: Physical Security Audit done for GVPL by external contractor; 4 cheap radios tested at Central Library – staff first amused → became interested → finally convinced of worth “… Who’se got the radio???”; 2008: New set of non-enumerative "Rules" developed, a “Crime and Punishment Table” created, and standardized formats for written warnings and sanctions adopted; 2009 - Present 2009 12 digital radios purchased for Central Branch Library staff use. Now regarded as “essential tools” 2010: Number of annual incidents peaks at just over 300 2012: GVPL accepted as a “Social Services” agency and takes a seat at the Downtown Service Providers table; Central Library sets up dedicated external door camera – images saved to a hard drive. Complete Incident Report - 1998 Hand written & illegible!! Filed by DATE and forgotten!! Not shared with Staff!! Complete Incident Report - 2014 “No report filed? Then it didn’t happen.” “We may forgive but we don’t forget ..” Database Record for this Incident OVERVIEW Images Sharepoint – Report Form Access Db Hard Copy Records & Alerts Sharepoint – Report Output – e-mailed to staff Reports and Stats Letters of Warning & Sanction How do we explain the leveling-off incidents after 2010? Possible Explanations: 1. We're getting better at this - our efforts are paying off! • better tracking: (ADV Database); • better tools: (templates for letters, Intranet posting, CCTV imagery at CE), PC Reservation software; • better rules: (clear Rules For Using Public Workstations; Rules For Safe Use Of Library Premises); • more consistency in applying rules and sanctions (Table of Offenses) • safer spaces – Security Audit improvements eg. exterior lighting 2. The City streets may also be changing! • Due to public pressure, the efforts of a great number of local social agencies such as Cool Aid; Our Place Society; VIHA are beginning to address the roots of the problems that create the problems we face such as homelessness, drug abuse, poverty; We still have a long way to go and a lot or improvements yet to make - technical and institutional The Library’s Challenge Everywhere … To make people understand that It’s NOT 1952 any more at the Library! The Downtown Service Providers Association GVPL is at the table as part of a collaborative alliance of Local Non-Profits + Municipal + Regional organizations which share information and work to address social, health, and safety issues in the downtown core. Victoria Cool Aid Society AIDS Vancouver Island Pacifica Housing Society Together Against Poverty Society Island Health – Mental Health and Addictions Our Place Society City of Victoria Victoria Police Department Salvation Army United Way Victoria Coalition To End Homelessness … and many others! … If something like this doesn’t exist in your community – Invent it! SECURITY CASE STUDIES 1. What does a monster look like? A fearsome package can contain a scholar, and a suit does not a gentleman make … 2. The dog in the purse. Precedent is everything. It’s not about your sweet little pooch, it’s what else comes in the door behind it. 3. Really big shoes. How a simple case of shoes off can be blown up into a police call. Any why it’s always not about my bad behaviour but about the Library’s fascist attitudes … 4. The family that came to live with us. Getting to know a street family and being challenged to practice what we preach. HANDOUTS TO BE MADE AVAILABLE ON CLA CONFERENCE WEBSITE 1. PowerPoint Slides of this session 2. Bibliography • De-escalation and violence prevention - articles • Homelessness in Public Libraries 3. Documents • GVPL’s ‘Challenging Situation Manual’ (Contact Peter Thompson if you would like a copy of this document) • Managing Aggressive Behaviour – notes from three workshops • Legislation Note of special thanks! • To Mr. Mike McGee – Security Coordinator at Vancouver Public Library – for his generous sharing of information and many good ideas. Be safe! It’s a jungle out there!