Black Belt Librarians: Every Librarian's Real World Guide to a Safer Workplace
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Black Belt Librarians: Every Librarian's Real World Guide to a Safer Workplace

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  137 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Paperback, 76 pages
Published May 31st 2006
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Dorsch and Navarre Branch Libraries
Black Belt Librarians by Warren Graham

Essential Elements ... Page 7
1. You must have established rules and regulations
2. You never say these 5 things again,
he's harmless
he never has been a problem before
we have never had a problem before
we have always done it this way
other libraries do it that way
3. When advising patrons of rules you must always go by their behavior not their appearance
4. You have to be consistent in enforcement
5. You must control your environment through constant awareness
6. Do...more
Gillian Dawson
3.5 stars. Was pleased to see we are already using most of what he suggests.
Feb 25, 2014 Remy rated it 2 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Librarians who inexplicably read self-help books
Recommended to Remy by: My Boss
Since this book is so short, I kept a running tab of comments as they occurred to me. This is what I came up with, and the accompanying page numbers:

2: Why the alphabet is in alphabetical order is not a stupid question. For that matter, if there is any profession where the idea of a stupid question shouldn't exist, it's Teacher, closely followed by Librarian.

16: Who is Lash Larue? If he died 20 odd years ago and hasn't really been around since the 50's, why would you use him as an example? Espec...more
The author gives strategies on how to improve library security. He gives a number of examples of security risks and (hilarious) anecdotes from his experience working as a security manager for libraries. Some of the strategies include the following:

1. Be aware
2. Focus on the behavior of library users so that you can respond appropriately to them, especially as they bring complaints or misbehave
3. Keep a log of security issues
4. Don't count money during open hours in front of library users
5. Set c...more
This is a quick read full of practical advice for staying safe and exercising authority while still providing good public service.

Some of the advice is simple: don't count money in front of patrons, and don't turn your back to someone who is potentially unstable. Other advice is less obvious and harder to follow: don't discount something just because it has never been a problem before. I am pleased to note how much of this advice is followed in my own library; for example, all staff must be fami...more
This should be required reading for all Library Administrators, Branch Managers, Directors and upper management. Read this if you work in a library or plan to and are concerned for your personal safety and sanity.

Mr. Graham gives no-nonsense advice about how to handle every type of library patron in a professional and reasonable manner.

For those of you who think that a library is a quiet safe haven and working in one would be your stressless dream job-check this out! Those libraries only exist i...more
The light and conversational tone make this a must and easy ready for anyone working in a library. Most of the information is common sense, but as Warren Graham quotes Voltaire: "Common sense is not so common" (page 7). I was reminded of my experiences in my second job where I learned a lot of this hands-on, but it is helpful to see it again and be reminded of what I personally can change in my current environment. I all ready have a few changes I really need made.

Almost anyone who works with th...more
Newport Librarians
Very short, very quick. While it has some great advice for anyone working with the public, it really is more useful as a starting point for directors and managerial staff to help determine what the best policies are for individual work places. Some of the scenarios offered up great questions I would love to ask my boss(es) about, and how they would expect those situations to be handled.
Handily, I had a chance to put what I learned from this book to the test today.

I definitely found myself pulling from some of the recommended scripts, caught myself crossing my arms and immediately uncrossed them, etc. But the reality is that when someone half a foot taller than you is standing ten inches away, jabbing her index finger in your face repeatedly and telling you you don't know how to do your job, a book isn't going to help you through it. Libraries need security.

But I still like t...more
Good tips for dealing with the problem patrons, but nothing revolutionary. Mostly common sense stuff. The trick is remembering and being able to control your attitude, tone, body language, etc. in the heat of the moment. I'm grateful for the deputies who patrol our library daily. Their mere presence probably prevents innumerable problems.
A guide to dealing with the public in your work situation, this book had useful, practical information in it. It is easy to read about these techniques, but I would have to practice them.
Katy Jane
I found several areas in which our library needed improvement. Leaving money unlocked, keeping purses in plain sight, leaving workrooms unlocked, etc. We only service a town of about 2,000, but that is no excuse. I also liked the stop, look, and listen. Sometimes we get so busy and take the "customer" out of "customer service."
Oct 27, 2007 Leslie rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: librarians
Shelves: librarystuff
This book gives some good tips on dealing with problem patrons. One suggestion is to assume the people are going to cooperate. Another is to introduce yourself and ask the person's name and to use it frequently. I would recommend having a police or security officer come in to do some role-playing and provide further tips.
Has a lot of good advice for security in libraries and he writes in a very informal way which makes it a quick and entertaining read. I think the information is more geared towards public libraries than academic, where they might have more security issues, but still some good information for all librarians.
Who knew that my job as librarian would also mean playing psychologist, social worker, and keeper of the peace/ maintainer of law and order? This book is about being safe (with all the hats that we wear) working within a public building, as a public servant, for the public good!
I saw Warren Graham in person a few years ago at MCPL. He makes a lot of sense and has some practical advise for handling some tricky situations. He has another book out and I thought I would actually read both of them, reinforce what I learned from him. Good quick read.
Quick read, to the point and very useful. I would recommend this book for anyone who deals with the public in any capacity. I would have liked more anecdotes and problem/solution discussions but this guy's main focus is making appearances and not writing.
This was a really quick (only about 50 pages) read that offers some good tips for any librarian working in a public setting: a lot about control and handling situations. I'd recommend for any librarian who deals with the public on a routine basis.
Tom Mueller
Real life examples on dealing with the public in a library or other public building. Teaches how to 'act' rather than 'react' Recommended for anyone in the public sector, particularly librarians on the front lines.
This quick read was a good review of our "Prepare" training, for how to deal with behavior problems at the library. It had some amusing stories and was worth reading, but it did not go into great depth.
Very informative. I had the chance to see Warren Graham in person and he is very up to date on his information and advice with dealing with the library public and staff.
Eric Compean
I found this very useful, although were a small library we do have some instances that a few patrons become cross and with this book I can handle situations like those better.
Liz DeCoster
Fairly basic, common sense stuff. I know the author has seen a lot, but I would be surprised if there were anything in here an average public librarian doesn't already know.
Excellent book with very clear advice. I will definitely have all my staff read this and start implementing some of the guidelines suggested.
It is always good to see CLPL is doing so many things right. I did get some new ideas for improving safety in the workplace. A quick read.
Kellie Mckoin
Nov 27, 2011 Kellie Mckoin marked it as to-read
This book looks like it could be very helpful and very interesting. It looks like it
has a sense of humor as well. Right down my alley.
Great book for how to keep your library safe and secure for all patrons. I wish it had more examples of the policies, etc.
Fabulous! Great, practical advice that applies directly to libraries and librarians. Lots of usable knowledge in this small book.
His workplace experiences sound very familiar. I like his fearless approach to working with the public.
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