The safety of staff and patrons is a top priority for all libraries, with managers striving to maintain a welcoming and secure environment for all who wish to make use of the space. Library systems nationwide enact security policies tailored to their respective communities and resources. Although these vary from library to library, librarians must strike a balance between offering a broad open door policy for all community members and ensuring a safe, secure environment for staff and patrons.
For a primer on managing disruptive patrons, knowing when to get law enforcement involved, and how to form the relationships that make that call easier, we spoke to Steve Albrecht. A retired police officer and security consultant, Albrecht is the author of Library Security: Better Communication, Safer Facilities (ALA Editions). (For more from Albrecht, see Playing It Safe: Author Steve Albrecht Tackles Security Measures for Libraries.)
Dealing with patrons who break library rules is no one’s favorite part of the job. But establishing clear policies and penalties, and a consistent system for tracking misbehavior, is the first step toward creating an environment in which staff feel confident when enforcing rules and patrons understand the consequences of misconduct.
Most libraries that adopt floating collections expect circulation to rise because collections will be better distributed to meet patron demand. Yet how many have analyzed whether collections perform better after implementing floating than they did before materials were relocated? The Nashville Public Library undertook an experiment in floating with optimism. Did the results pay off? Here is how it all began.
Serving the public good has long been the mandate of all libraries. Providing everyone with access to information, without regard to income or demographic differences, is perhaps a library’s most noble aspiration. For patrons with visual challenges, this has meant providing books in multiple formats, including large print.
There is more than enough evidence to confirm the choice of Nicolle Ingui Davies as the 2016 LJ Librarian of the Year, our award sponsored by Baker & Taylor. Take her special skills at communicating with community members in and outside of the library. Then there is her leadership in building and developing a committed and passionate staff dedicated to patron service. That is complemented by her unequivocal belief that libraries are essential services, not just “nice” assets, and the best medium to achieve an informed citizenry. The results of Davies’s leadership convinced voters in 2015 that they ought to tax themselves to the tune of $30 million a year, increasing the Arapahoe Library District (ALD) budget by $6 million.
The ALA’s new public awareness initiative is a savvy approach to the broad challenge libraries face as they continue to evolve and must communicate what they actually contribute to their communities. Much more than talk, Libraries Transform is an actionable toolkit you should put to work now to help your constituency understand the real life of libraries.