Public Library Safety Summit

Public Library Safety Summit

Date: April 27-28, 2023 

Location: Columbus Metropolitan Library

96 S Grant Ave, 

Columbus, OH 43215


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Ensuring equitable and just service in an unprecedented environment of security threats has become one of the greatest challenges library directors have faced. How can public libraries provide physically and emotionally safer and more secure environments for staff and patrons while protecting their privacy and maintaining open, accessible, and welcoming spaces?


Library Journal invites library directors, safety and facilities heads and other stakeholders in library safety to join peers from major North American library systems to learn about best practices from within the library field.


Breakfast and lunch will be served on both days and a cocktail reception will end the first day’s program. Lots of networking time will be built into the event. Programming will end Friday noonish. Optional tours of new Columbus Metropolitan branches and/or security operations of affiliate institutions will be organized for those arriving early on Wednesday, April 26.


Who should attend: Library directors, chief librarians, security heads, HR leaders, facilities directors, public service leaders and other stakeholders in library safety. The event is designed by and for urban libraries with central libraries and branches in urban environments. However, libraries of all sizes and configurations are welcome!

There is no hotel block for this event.  A list of preferred hotels will be provided upon registration.


Advisory Board Members:

Library First Name Last Name Title
Austin Public Library Roosevelt Weeks Director of Libraries
Baltimore County Public Library Sonia Alcantara-Antoine Director
Brooklyn Public Library Nick Higgins Chief Librarian
Cleveland Public Library Felton Thomas Executive Director, CEO
Columbus Metropolitan Library Pat Losinski CEO
Denver Public Library Michelle Jeske City Librarian
Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library Paula Brehm-Heeger

Eva Jane Coombe

Library Director

Hartford Public Library Bridget Quinn President & CEO
Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Kelvin Watson Executive Director
Onondaga County Public Libraries Christian Zabriskie Executive Director
San Francisco Public Library Michael Lambert City Librarian

Hudson Valley Community College

Jessica Hoffman

Instruction Librarian/Event Producer



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Thursday, April 27

8:00 - 9:00 AM


Breakfast and Registration (Reading Room 2nd Floor)

9:00 - 9:15 AM


Welcome Remarks          

Lisa Peet, Executive Editor, Library Journal

Pat Losinski, CEO, Columbus Metropolitan Library

9:15 - 10:00 AM


Keynote: Dr. Amy Acton, MD, MPH, former Director of the Ohio Department of Health, President and CEO of RAPID 5.

10:00 - 11:05 AM 


Safer Libraries for Staff and Patrons: Library Leadership Through a Trauma Informed Lens

A panel of library leaders, moderated and facilitated by an expert in trauma-informed library practices, will discuss trauma-informed leadership techniques with the goal of helping both staff and patrons feel safe in the library. The panel will focus on practical, actionable ideas. Facilitated discussion following the panel will aim to give library leaders concrete next steps to lead in a trauma-informed manner.

Pam Ryan, Director, Service Development & Innovation,Toronto Public Library, Ontario             

Leticia Cotto, Customer Experience Officer, Hartford Public Library, CT

Jo Giudice, Director, Dallas Public Library, TX

Melissa Munn, Customer Experience Director, Pierce County Library System, WA

11:05 - 11:25 AM



11:25 - 12:30 PM


Security Staffing Models: Police, Social Work, and Everything in Between

This panel will highlight different perspectives on security staffing, discussing the pros and cons of a range of models and their outcomes. We will also discuss how and why different security staffing decisions are made. Facilitated discussion after the panel will examine how staff can make security decisions based on their own needs.

Kaya Bergin, Loveland Branch Manager, Cincinnati Public Library, OH

Leah Esguerra, Social Service Team Supervisor, San Francisco Public Library, CA

Michelle Hamiel, Director of Racial Equity and Community Impact, Urban Libraries Council

Bob Knowles, Security Manager, Denver Public Library, CO

12:30 - 1:30 PM


Lunch (Reading Room, Carnegie BoardRoom, Meeting Room 2B)

1:30 - 2:35 PM    


Debriefing After a Traumatic Event: Policies and Procedures

A panel of library administrators will discuss how they communicate with staff during and after a security incident. This conversation will focus not only on best practices but on communication procedures codified in library policy, and how these communication policies help protect staff. Facilitated discussion after the panel will allow the audience to brainstorm policies and procedures for their own libraries.

Jarrid Keller, Deputy Director of Support Services, Sacramento Public Library, CA                                      

Maureen Singleton, Chief Operating Officer, San Francisco Public Library, CA                                                                      

Kelvin Watson, Executive Director, Las Vegas–Clark County Library, NV 

Anthony Wilson, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH

2:35 - 3:35  PM


Facilitated Breakouts by Job Function (Reading Room, Carnegie Room, Meeting Room 2B) 

3:35  - 3:55 PM



3:55 - 4:40 PM


De-escalation Training with Safe Passage Consulting (Reading Room 2nd Floor)

Safe Passage Consulting will give a de-escalation training on how to diffuse tense situations and prevent security incidents from escalating. This session will cover the importance of de-escalation in keeping staff and patrons safe, and will use real-life examples from library settings to cater this training to the experiences of library employees. Attendees will leave the training with concrete strategies and next steps that they can take back to their libraries and share with all front-facing staff.

Larry Nelson, Director of Physical Security, Safe Passage Consulting

4:40 - 5:00 PM


Columbus Metropolitan Library

Timothy Brant, Director of Security

Christian Siminak, Lead Security Officer

Andrea Villanueva, Public Service Director 

Anthony Wilson, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer

5:00 - 6:00 PM


Cocktail Reception hosted by Columbus Metropolitan Library (Carnegie Gallery)


Friday, April 28

8:00 - 8:30 AM


Breakfast (Columbus Museum of Art, Schottenstein Property Group Pavilion)

8:30 - 8:45 AM


Opening Remarks & Reflections

8:45 - 9:50 AM


Engaging with Tweens and Teens in Crisis (and Afterward)

A panel of experts on working with young adults outside the library profession will share insight from their own fields on how to manage and de-escalate situations involving tweens and teens in crisis. The panel will be moderated by a librarian and facilitated discussion after the panel will focus on how these insights from other fields can be put into practice in a library environment.

Stephen Jackson, Director of Equity and Anti-Racism, Oak Park Public Library, IL

Tim McLeod, Applied theatre trainer, consultant

Alex Nyquist, Pediatric Psychologist, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, OH

Nikky Robinson, Outreach and Connections Coordinator, Star House, OH

9:50 - 10:10 AM



10:10 - 11:05 AM


Community Outreach and Aligning Public Perception with Safety Realities 

This panel will discuss the optics of library safety and security, how to manage people who feel that the library space is not meeting their expectations, and how community outreach can help patrons feel safe and welcome in the library. We will also discuss how to manage the library’s image in the wake of high-profile violent incidents and everyday security issues like disorderly or disruptive patrons. Facilitated discussion after the panel will allow attendees to reflect on what they want their libraries to look like in the eyes of the public, and how they can effectively use community outreach to send that message.

Michelle Hamiel, Director of Racial Equity and Community Impact, Urban Libraries Council

Pat Losinski, CEO, Columbus Metropolitan Library, OH

Brenda Johnson-Perkins, Community Engagement Administrator, Baltimore County Public Library, MD

Felton Thomas, Executive Director, CEO, Cleveland Public Library, OH

11:05 - 11:20 AM


Process Matters-Increasing the Chances of Finding Common Ground Management with Third Party Public 

Nicole Swerhum, Managing Principal

11:20 - 12:00 PM 


Fast- Learning Sessions

Attendees take the mic in these crowd-sourced sessions-fast paced, five minute presentations.

Susan Broman, Los Angeles Public Library, CA

“Creating Safe and Welcoming Libraries by Embracing Staff Voices”

Emma Karin Eriksson, Brooklyn Public Library, NY    

“Centering Frontline Staff in Safety Decisions”

Anne Kemmerling, Denver Public Library, CO

“7 Approaches to Security, Safety, and Social Work at Denver Public Library”

Elisabeth Marrocolla, Darien Library, CT                    

“DLU: In-house Training”

Melissa Munn, Pierce County Lobrary System, WA

"Empowered Staff: A Library's Superpower"

12:00 - 12:15 PM 


Closing Remarks

12:15 PM


Grab and Go and/or Networking Lunch








Amy Acton, MD, MPH, is a physician and community leader who has spent over 30  years pursuing her passion for public health and wellness. 

Acton’s widely acclaimed leadership and inspiring guidance was seen in daily news conferences as COVID exploded in the spring of 2020, earning her a Profile in COVID  Courage Award from the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation in 2021. In 2022 she was  named Woman of the Year for Ohio by USA Today for the significant impact she has had. 

A native of Youngstown in northeast Ohio, Acton received her master’s degree in public  health from Ohio State University and her medical degree from Northeastern Ohio  University College of Medicine. Under her leadership as state health director, Ohio created the first ODH deputy director position focused on  mobilizing federal and state resources to promote health equity, inclusion and opportunity for all Ohioans.






Timothy Brant, Director of Security, Columbus Metropolitan Library



Susan Broman is the Assistant City Librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL), which serves more than four million people—the largest and most diverse urban population of any library in the United States. Beyond her love of libraries, Susan also enjoys eating tacos, creating origami, learning about technology, discovering new music, trying out organizational systems, and exploring the art museums and galleries of her beloved Los Angeles.



Kaya Burgin, is the Branch Manager at Loveland Branch Library of the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library. She received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Bachelor of Science in Education from Miami University and her MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh. In 2015, Kaya was named an American Library Association Emerging Leader. She believes libraries are places where people can come together and share their experiences with each other.



Leticia Cotto is the Customer Experience Officer of the Hartford Public Library in Connecticut.  She has over 27 years of experience developing and delivering equitable access to quality programs and services in early childhood literacy, adult education and cultural programming, and computer literacy.  Before serving as CXO, Leticia managed one of the busiest branches in the system in addition to co-owning a coffee house and bookstore specializing in the sale of books by Latinx authors and about Latinx themes.  She holds master's degree in Organizational Management from the University of Saint Joseph.



Leah Esguerra is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). She is the nation’s first full-time library social worker with San Francisco Public Library. Leah supervises the SFPL Social Service Program which consists of a team of Health and Safety Associates (HASAs) who are library outreach workers with lived experiences. Prior to working at the San Francisco Public Library, Leah worked as an Intensive Case Manager and clinical supervisor for the Department of Public Health for 8 years.



Jo Giudice has worked for the City of Dallas, Library since February 2004. A Florida native, she came to work for Dallas Public Library sight-unseen. This leap of faith has turned into a career path that took her from assistant manager/children’s librarian to branch manager to library administration to the lead role as the department’s director.



Michelle Hamiel is the Director of Racial Equity and Community Impact at Urban Libraries Council (ULC). She brings more than 37 years of public library experience to ULC. Michelle currently leads all ULC race equity initiatives and Edge, a platform that helps library leaders analyze data, set benchmarks and tell their stories. She comes to ULC from her previous role as the Chief Operating Officer for Public Services for Prince George's County Memorial Library System, where she not only led the mission, vision, innovation and operations of the library's 19 branches and the county detention center; she also created the library's race and social equity plan.



Stephen Jackson is a motivational speaker, consultant, licensed professional counselor, and Director of Equity and Anti-Racism at Oak Park Public Library (IL). He values public service and contributing to people’s lives through utilizing both Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices to create positive and safe cultures for organizations and communities.



Brenda Johnson-Perkins is a Community Engagement Administrator at Baltimore County Public Library where she oversees the Social Worker in the Library program. She has a passion for community outreach and promoting equitable services to underserved groups. She received an MA degree in Black Comparative Literature from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County in 1996 and a MLIS from the University of Maryland-College Park in 2019. She is a 2015 Spectrum Scholar, a graduate of the Maryland Leadership Institute and a 2021 Library Journal Mover and Shaker.



Emma Karin is an activist-academic whose personal and professional life is driven by a commitment to social justice. She believes in people over property and profit and that libraries are a place of liberation.Her decision to pursue librarianship comes from a desire to serve communities by offering guidance, support, and quality resources and information.



Jarrid Keller is the Deputy Director of Support Services at the Sacramento Public Library responsible for Collection Services, Facilities, IT, and Safety and Security. He is the Vice-Chair of the California Teleconnect Fund Advisory Committee and a member of the Board of Expert Advisory for the California Emerging Technology Fund. Prior to joining the Sacramento Public Library in 2015, Jarrid was the Chief Information Officer and Acting Deputy State Librarian at the California State Library where he led the statewide initiative to connect California Public Libraries to the California Research and Education Network owned and operated by CENIC.



Annie Kemmerling has worked for the Denver Public Library for just over 15 years in different branches and roles -- youth programming, reference librarian, branch manager, Manager of Innovation and Strategy, and now in her current role as Director of Neighborhood Services. A couple years into her professional career she pursued and completed her MBA from the University of Colorado. She believes in a strong sense of community and is constantly pursuing connections and relationships for the library to best serve and be a part of the Denver community.  In her free time, Anne enjoys yoga, exploring new restaurants, travel, in addition to random experiences



Bob Knowles is an experienced security professional.  He began his professional journey in the United States Air Force as a Security Policeman and served at various worldwide locations before retiring from the USAF as a Senior Master Sergeant after 22+ years.  After leaving the Air Force, he worked as The Director of Security for Nebraska State Facilities, followed by a position as the Director of Security for one of Harrah's Casinos, and then as a Security contractor for the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Protective Service.  He assumed his current position as the Manager of Security for Denver Public Library in 2012.



Since 2002, Pat Losinski has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. CML has 24 locations with 880 employees and an annual operating budget of $80M. Prior to joining CML, Pat worked for public library systems in Wisconsin, Illinois, Colorado and Ohio and served on the state library boards in Illinois and Colorado. He is the past chair of the Urban Libraries Council’s Governing Board and a former Governing Board member of the International Federation of Library Associations headquartered in The Hague. Most recently, Pat is helping lead a $300M capital improvement plan for 20 new or remodeled library buildings. Columbus CEO magazine named him 2015 CEO of the Year in the large non-profit category. He was inducted into the 2021 Junior Achievement of Central Ohio Business Hall of Fame.



Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla is the Deputy Director of Darien Library (CT). Elisabeth received her master’s degree from Pratt Institute in 2011 and began working at Darien Library shortly after, first in the Children’s Library as a Children’s Collector, then as the Head of Children and Teen Services. In 2019, Elisabeth moved up to administration, where her ability to juggle multiple projects and priorities, first honed in youth services, comes in handy! When she’s not with her two young children, you can find her reading fantasy books with skilled heroines and romance novels with a lot of smolder.



Tim McLeod (he/him) is a facilitator and trainer building off 25 years of experience as a sexual health educator in Washington State. Tim’s primary work has been focused on peer education and family programs, teacher training, and consultation for non-profit groups in numerous countries around the world. Tim participates and directs applied theatre performances related to social justice and liberatory work.



Melissa Munn is the Customer Experience Director of Public Operations at Pierce County Library System in Washington. She has a degree in Criminology and 11+ years in library leadership. Previous to her library career she spent 10 years working in social service system providing direct support to marginalized populations. This experience has provided her a unique perspective when leading library staff to ensure safe and welcoming spaces for customers and staff.



As a trainer with law enforcement, Larry Nelson has implemented lesson plans to mentor thousands of veteran and rookie police officers with subject matter expertise in Physical Security Assessments, Active Shooter Response, Behavioral Assessments, and De-escalation techniques.



Alex Nyquist, PhD is a licensed Pediatric Psychologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). Dr. Nyquist completed her doctoral degree at Miami University in Ohio, residency at the University of Minnesota, and fellowship in behavioral medicine at the University of Virginia. Currently, Dr. Nyquist works with adolescents and young adults (AYA) in the Teen Health Center at CCHMC where she provides behavioral health prevention at annual well visits along with brief mental health assessment, intervention, and crisis stabilization.



Nikky Robinson is the current Outreach and Connections Coordinator at Star House. Nikky started as a Youth Advocate over five years ago and has now served in several leadership roles within the organization. She is passionate about helping people and has worked in human services for 17 years. Nikky graduated from Linden McKinley High School, in her hometown of Columbus, Ohio where she was born and raised. Nikky has recently attended Columbus State Community College and earned her CDCA certification. She loves to see people accomplish their goals.



Pam Ryan is Director, Service Development & Innovation at Toronto Public Library (TPL). She was a member of TPL’s 2022 Alternate Approaches to Safety & Security Discussion Table initiative to find collaborative paths forward with library management, library board, library union, and City and community agency participants.



Christian Siminiak, Lead Security Officer, Columbus Metropolitan Library



Maureen Singleton is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL). Maureen started working at SFPL in 2005 as the Budget Manager before promoting to CFO in 2011, and COO in 2019. As COO she oversees: Finance, Human Resources, IT, Facilities, and Analytics. She also helped co-create SFPL’s Racial Equity Action Plan, oversees for capital projects, and supports emergency planning and response efforts. Maureen began her career with the City & County of San Francisco at the Board's Budget & Legislative Analyst’s Office and has also worked at the Departments of Public Health and Public Works.



Felton Thomas, Jr. has served as Executive Director of Cleveland Public Library (CPL) since January, 2009. As Director of Cleveland Public Library, Thomas has launched initiatives aimed at addressing community needs in the areas of access to technology, education, and economic development. Director Thomas’ awards and accomplishments include being named a “Mover and Shaker” by the Library Journal and being named a White House Champion of Change for Making in 2016. Felton is currently the Chair of the Digital Public Library of America board. He also serves as a trustee on the boards of DigitalC, University Circle Inc.,Cleveland Museum of Art and United Way of Greater Cleveland.



Andrea Villanueva is a Public Services Director at the Columbus Metropolitan Library in Columbus, Ohio, where she oversees the organizational policies and strategies for the Public Services sector for the Columbus community. Andrea is a first-generation U.S.-born citizen raised in Merritt Island, Florida, by her Peruvian parents. Andrea has worked in libraries for over 20 years and has worked in the nonprofit community of Columbus for the last 6 years as the Branch Manager of NLT and then as a Public Services Director.



As executive director of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, Kelvin Watson oversees 25 branches run by 600+ employees, spanning 8,000 square miles, with a budget of $77 million and a collection of 3.2 million items. Kelvin has brought innovative, award-winning leadership to Nevada’s largest library system and his deep experience in fundraising, technology, program development, and demonstrated success in addressing the digital divide has brought a new era to this library system. Regarded as one of the most highly respected thought leaders in the library industry, Kelvin has been credited, in multiple library management roles, with expanding his customer base through outreach efforts to underserved and diverse populations.



Anthony Wilson, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer Anthony joined CML in 2018 as the library’s Director of Safety and Security and was promoted to the role of Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer (CDO) in January 2022. In the CDO role, he oversees the Human Resources and Security departments. Prior to coming to CML, Anthony was an Assistant Chief of Police with the Westerville, Ohio Division of Police, where he directed the Communications Bureau, Community Relations Bureau, Internal Affairs, and the Recruitment team.
















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