The Safe Library: Keeping Users, Staff, and Collections Secure

Rowman & Littlefield. Feb. 2023. 196p. ISBN 9781538169599. $95. PRO MEDIA
There is a frequent misconception that libraries are idyllic, conflict-free spaces where everyone respects one another’s boundaries. However, anyone who regularly frequents a library can attest that this is not always true. Former police officer and security management expert Albrecht (Library Security: Better Communication, Safer Facilities) offers strategies designed to empower library professionals of all levels to become more vigilant, assertive, and confident contributors to the safety of their library. Emphasized are methods to better facilitate communication and de-escalation, develop safe and effective workplace habits, analyze and advocate for improved security within the library, and provide exceptional customer service even when dealing with challenging patrons. Based on input from a collection of library professionals, Albrecht even dedicates an entire chapter to the 10 most challenging types of patrons. The appendixes include additional security tools, such as a sample incident report, a suggestion to establish written emergency plans, and a discussion of parking-lot perils.
VERDICT A thought-provoking resource that posits library safety as a responsibility shared by the entire staff. Albrecht’s guidance will benefit all library workers, whether administrative or public-facing.
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