Safety in the Stacks: Developing Safety Procedures and Training in the Academic Library


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  • Welcome to Safety in the Stacks: Developing Safety Procedures and Training in the Academic Library. Thank you to the Supervisors, Managers, and Administrators Roundtable for inviting us to present today and thank you to all of you for joining us. I’m Chelsea Baker, the Instructional Services Librarian at East Central University’s Linscheid Library in Ada. [Jolene]When you think of safety and security at a college campus in today’s world, our minds tend to turn to the horror stories that make the national news headlines…For instance
  • ….we think about shooting and massacres. Because we see these situations reported in the news, these stories are the first things that tend to come to mind when we think about campus safety. These are obviously situations that we need to plan for and prepare for, but we think it’s just as important to think about the back page situations…
  • …we also needed to put a lot more thought into situations that might occur on a daily basis. Like…
  • We realized that ultimately we needed to go beyond preparing for the headlines and even the back page situations and create a positive safety culture. Safety culture is concept from the field of organizational safety. There are many definitions of this term, but they are all in the same general vein. [Read definition] So a safety culture is holistic and all-encompassing. It is beyond a procedures manual. A safety culture influences every aspect of an organization. Having a positive safety culture influences big decisions—like using that extra $5000 to buy security cameras rather than computers—and it also results in small changes, like resolving to carry your cell phone with you at work in case there is a situation you need to call in. Having a positive safety culture means doing whatever we can to ensure that safety is always on our minds…that we are always thinking about how we can make the library a safer place for our employees and our patrons. Furthermore, as this definition highlights, a positive safety culture is holistic in the sense that it includes all individuals at every level in an organization. It isn’t just the librarians and the deans or even the full-time employees working on these issues. Since an academic library employs so many student assistants at all hours of the day and night, they need to be fully invested in the safety culture, too. So we’ve been working on creating a holistic safety culture at Linscheid Library for about 2 1/2 years now.
  • {CB}This all started when we a few of us attended a PASIG workshop at which Jason Dupree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University presented on the active shooter procedures he had developed for his library. This really made us sit up and take notice. We didn’t even have procedures about what to do if a fist fight broke out, let alone how to handle an instance where someone is bringing a gun into the building. As soon as we got back to Ada from that PASIG meeting, we started developing a safety committee. Jason developed his active shooter procedures pretty much on his own as I understand it, but we just like committees at Linscheid Library. We think that two heads are generally better than one. Furthermore, since we wanted to go beyond a single set of procedures and build a comprehensive program, we thought that a committee would be most productive. A standing committee is also useful in ensuring continuity with a project like this. Even as individuals come and go, the committee remains to ensure that progress continues. In forming our committee, we asked the circulation assistant to join. We thought that it was extremely important to involve this position since they spend the most time working with patrons and they supervise most of our student assistants. The Circulation Assistants have really been an invaluable part of this committee. The other members of the committee included myself – I oversaw Circulation at the time, our Media Services Librarian who also had several student assistants in his department, and our reference and outreach librarian at the time. Although we’ve experienced some committee membership changes, we still have strong representation from the public services departments. Once we formed the committee in the summer of 2011, the first thing we did was evaluate our needs.
  • JP There are many ways to approach a needs assessmentSurveysFormal Risk AssessmentsConsultantsLinschied Library Safety Committee used the brainstorming.Determined that there was Three areas that needed to be addressed: Documentation, Equipment and TrainingDocumentationWe did not have a written/formal patron code of conductAlso did not have designated list of individuals who was responsible for making decisionsWritten procedure on how to address even the basic safety situationEquipmentThough we did have emergency kits, most employees did not know where they were or what they containedIntercom system would allow safety information to past to employees and patrons without going floor to floorSecurity Camera AED (Automated External Defibrillator)TrainingOnce procedures where established and equipment updated, training would need to be conducted with all employees including student assistants.Part of training may need to include basic first aidOnce we established an idea of our needs, we begin to do research.
  • {CB}Once we decided that developing some written procedures was our priority, we started on some research. A lot of libraries have their safety procedures posted online. Reading several different examples of the procedures that you are wanting to develop can really help you to think through the situation you’re addressing and how your library should handle it. One specific resource that we’d suggest you check out is the Sample Disaster and Emergency Plan from The Alabama Public Library Service. This is a really comprehensive template which has been created for use by individual Alabama libraries. Thankfully, they have posted it online so we can all use it to help us develop our own procedures. Now we aren’t suggesting you need a 200 page procedure manual. While we recommend researching other libraries’ procedure, you must be careful to tailor everything to your library’s specific situation. For instance, in this case, the hurricane procedures probably would not be necessary for an Oklahoma library. One size does not fit all. You’ve got to make sure that your procedures and your decisions are just right for your library’s situation and your safety culture. Similar to how you can’t just wholesale use another library’s template, you can’t use the same approach for every procedure that you write – you can’t take the same approach with active shooter procedures, for instance, as you take with a verbal harassment situation.
  • JP As Chelsea mentioned, this process is not a one size fits all process. As many of you know, East Central University is located in a very rural area. However, an article entitled Safety and Security in Urban Academic Libraries that was published in 2010 in the Urban Library Journal talks about how to categorize difference situations based on the frequency of occurrence and the impact on the library and its patrons.Using a similar matrix, we classify our situations as1) High frequency/low impactBasic first aidInappropriate behaviorsMinor accident not requiring medical attentionUtility FailuresMinor AC leak/floodsInclement WeatherTheft2) Low frequency/high impact Elevator EmergenciesMajor Medical EmergenciesLockdownEvacuation
  • JP Once we catoargized the situations, then came the question of where do we start in drafting our procedures.It quickly became apparent that our high frequency/low impact situations could have a more detailed step-by-step procedure written than your low frequency/high impact situations. This is primarily due to the larger number of unknown variables that can occur in the low frequency/high impact situations.However, three components need to be addressed in all concepts.What, Who & HowWhat – Define the situationWho – People/departments involvedMay include other organizations both on and off campusHolistic environment??? Is importantHow – Action steps to address the situationAs mentioned your most frequent situations will have almost a cookie cutter procedure process where your high impact less frequent issues will not.Nevertheless, the last action of any procedure need to be clear and complete documenting system of documentation. We’ve started with the low stakes. [which ones we’ve done so far] They’re more tangible and less scary. Makes it easier to build a safety culture from the start– don’t want to scare people so much that they aren’t interested in learning about safety and security. No matter if you’re talking about low or high stakes, you want to address 3 things in your procedures: What—definition—you decide how narrow or broad to make it based on your needs Example of floods Who—is involved? How—is the situation addressed—action steps, when to call someone, and recording and reporting the incident
  • {CB} You need some way to recordincidents. A formal incident log swill help you keep track of patterns and trends, maintain consistency in how incidents are handled, identify situations that your staff need more training or guidance to handle appropriately, and keep library employees informed about incidents. Our incident log is an Excel spreadsheet on our shared network drive. It covers these types of incidents…and we have field for the following pieces of information…You want to make sure you are gathering all information you will need to enable follow-up and follow-through as needed. You also need to make sure that anyone writing in this log realizes that it can be used as a legal document so the descriptions should be objective and neutral. This is just one example of an incident log. Warren Graham in his book The Black Belt Librarian suggests keeping three different incident logs – a daily security log, a trespass log where you record information about any people you have banned from the library, and a potential problem log where you record individuals that you want to keep an eye on for some reason. This is another instance where one size does not fit all. You need to figure out what type or types of incident logs are needed for your library and how to implement those. No matter what type of log you’re using, you need to think about who in your organization should have access to review and edit the log. At Linscheid Library all full-time staff members can make entries to the log. Since all full-time staff members have access to this log and are encouraged to record incidents, this empowers them to take ownership and responsibility for library safety. Ultimately, this helps to generate buy-in for the safety culture.
  • JP All organization have an approval process.You many have a board or a government agency your report to In our case, we were required to get the approval of various deans and vice-presidents in order to begin implementing our written proceduresApproval is not Buy-inThis where people take ownership of something. . . In our case, owner ship of developing safety as a culture at Linsheid LibraryInvolvementUnderstand the significant – especially to the people to report to usDisplaying a positive attitude of support towards the inicativeDon’t be fooled into thinking buy-in from everyone will be easyFace-to-face is harder to ignore or not to supportVerse email or phone callsBriberyOffer coupons for free coffee if you have a coffee serviceOne of the most effective ways to get the library employees onboard is through face-to-face training In order to start developing a safety culture, we had to get approval and buy-in of the procedures library dean/director and all library stafflegal counsel police department (free coffee)can be challenging to get buy-in from certain parties we develop procedures and submit them for approval on a yearly basis
  • {CB} When thinking about getting buy-in from library employees, how you approach training and dissemination of the procedures and other safety information can make a big difference. We have started to devote one staff meeting per year to safety training. At the first meeting, we went through a PowerPoint presentation that we had created. Even though the staff probably could have just gone through this PowerPoint at their own computers, we thought it important to discuss it as a group to give time for the information to sink in and for folks to ask questions. This PowerPoint here didn’t just talk about the procedures, but also talked about the location of important items such as emergency kits, emergency exits, and fire extinguishers. You can see here that this PowerPoint is one way that we have involved the student assistants in the process. We asked them to take some fun pictures to help illustrate the PowerPoint and impart a little bit of levity to the situation. They really enjoyed helping to prepare training for their supervisors. Even though they didn’t really work on the content of the training, just taking pictures got them thinking about different safety situations and considerations. At this meeting, we also showed the staff where the procedures are posted on the library website and passed out these procedures packets. We gave every full-time staff person a packet and also placed them at every student work station and every service desk. We made a couple of conscious design choices with these packets. First of all, we put the procedures on a ring rather than in a booklet to make updating much easier. Whenever we make changes to a procedure, we email everyone about the change, and then send a student assistant around to pull the outdated document and add in the new one. Again, this is another way to get the student assistants involved. Because the procedures are on a ring, it is easy for folks to hang them on a hook on their wall so that they are always easily found and the colored, laminated paper makes it easy to flip to a particular procedure in a split second. If they’re within reach, easy to use, and highly visible, it’s much more likely that it’s going to become second nature for someone to reach for these procedures when a situation arises. Even though the procedures had been approved at this point, we made it clear to the staff that we would always be open to feedback and suggestions because a successful safety culture is always improving. Giving them a voice also helped to get them to buy-in to the safety culture. We’ve gotten positive feedback from the full-time employees about everything that has been put in place. They acknowledge their role in keeping the library safe and appreciate learning how to handle different situations. At subsequent training meetings, we will go over any new procedures and do some sort of review of pertinent information, probably in a more hands-on manner. Because they feel a responsibility to their student assistants and the library’s patrons, full-time employees are motivated to sit through an hour-long presentation. Student assistants, on the other hand, might not realize that they have a role in keeping the library safe, and they often have already sat through several class lectures on any given day…so we knew that we needed take a somewhat different approach when training our student assistants.
  • JPIntroducing the ConceptWe began by talking about our high frequency/low pack situations that impacted each of themStarted planting the seeds for the culture to grow.Approved Procedures (Review)(Sample of Procedures)PowerPoint Continuous Education ModuleQuiz Over PowerPointHands-On-Training
  • JPSurvivor TrainingTeamsconsist of 2-3 playersgiven a Survivor KitSurvivor Kit ContentsChallengesResources:Set of Finalized Safety ProceduresSafety Procedures Quick Guide Library Maps Cardsleast two pictures and one selfieFirst team to return with the most correctly completed challenges winsRulesTeam members must stay togetherFeedbackWant one size fits all procedures -- role-playing and simulations to come in the future
  • JPSurvivor TrainingOne of the final task each team was given was to take two team pictures and a team selfy. One of the most important things we have along the way is evaluate the program. From that we learned several things, and not all of them related to safety. * Enjoy activities and competition * Tends to want one procedure to fit all circumstances * Roll playing needs to be our next step in training of our Student AssistanceFeedback from Survivor reinforced this need
  • We don’t consider our safety culture perfect or complete, but we have made some progress over the last couple of years. And in the process we’ve identified a four components of a safety culture that we’d encourage you to consider and keep in mind as you return to your library. First of all, as I said at the beginning of the presentation, a safety culture is by definition, holistic. It goes beyond procedures, to include equipment and training, as well as the attitudes and values of your employees. Furthermore, it is holistic in the sense that it encompasses all of the employees in your organization, not just the administration and the librarians. Secondly, you need to think about how to make safety second nature for those employees. We do this by holding regular trainings, updating our procedures frequently, and making it easy to reach for those procedures. This is perhaps the most difficult component to address, but working hard to get buy-in from your employees is a key step. All decisions about safety at your library need to be made with consideration for the particular situation at your library. You can look at all of the procedures developed at other libraries and incorporate best practices from various publications, but none of it is going to be effective if you don’t tailor it and tweak it for your institution. Finally, libraries are always evolving – same goes for your safety culture. It is very important to stay up-to-date. You need to check your emergency kits to make sure nothing is expired or depleted, policies and procedures must be reviewed frequently, and overall you need to re-evaluate your needs on a regular basis and be willing to change course based on changing priorities. It is not easy to create a safety culture, but burying our heads in the sand or merely paying lip service to safety issues are just not viable options in today’s world. If you take it one step at a time, and keep these components of a positive safety culture in mind, you can make your library a safer place to work and learn.
  • Now we’d like to open it up to all of you to not only ask questions, but also share how you are currently creating a safety culture at your library or what do you intend to change once you get back to work in order to develop your safety culture
  • Safety in the Stacks: Developing Safety Procedures and Training in the Academic Library

    1. 1. LINSCHEIDLIBRARYLINSCHEID LIBRARY Safety in the Stacks: Developing Safety Procedures andTraining in the Academic Library 2014 Oklahoma Library Association Annual Conference Chelsea Baker, MLIS Instructional Services Librarian Jolene Poore, MSHR Circulation Assistant
    2. 2. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY Headlines
    3. 3. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY Back Page Situations
    4. 4. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY Safety Culture “…an amalgamation of values, standards, morals, and norms of acceptable behavior…Safety culture has to be inherent in the thoughts and actions of all the individuals at every level in an organization.” (qtd. in Crutchfield and Roughton)
    5. 5. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY Starting Point
    6. 6. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY • Documentation – Patron Code of Conduct – Designated Individuals – Written Procedures • Equipment – First Aid Kits – Intercom System – Security Cameras – AED • Training – Procedures – Equipment – First Aid Evaluating Needs
    7. 7. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY Researching Procedures
    8. 8. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY 1 2 Low vs.High Impact High Frequency/ Low Impact Low Frequency/ High Impact
    9. 9. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY • What – Define the situation • Who – The people/departments involved • How – Action steps to address the situation Drafting Procedures
    10. 10. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY Types of Incidents – Theft – Vandalism – Medical emergency – Suspicious behavior – Physical behavior – Verbal behavior – Policy violations – Other Documenting Incidents Information to Gather – Date – Time – Description of Incident – Location of Incident – Name and/or description of those involved – Police Called?/Report # – Officer Name & Badge – Name of person recording the incident
    11. 11. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY Approval and Buy-In
    12. 12. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY Training Full-Time Employees LINSCHEID LIBRARY Safety Procedures
    13. 13. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY Training StudentAssistants Rolling Out Training In Phases
    14. 14. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY Training StudentAssistants
    15. 15. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY Training StudentAssistants
    16. 16. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY Creating a Safety Culture holistic second nature just right always evolving
    17. 17. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY Questions How do you currently or how can you create a safety culture at your library?
    18. 18. LINSCHEIDLIBRARY American Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee. (2005,January 19). Guidelines for the development of policies and procedures regarding user behavior and library usage. Retrieved from lay.cfm&ContentID=13147 Crutchfield, N., & Roughton, J. (2014). Safety culture:An innovative leadership approach.Waltham, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann. Graham,W. (2012). The black belt librarian: Real-world safety & security. Chicago, IL:American Library Association. LLAMA BES Safety & Security of Library Buildings Committee. (2010,June 27). Library security guidelines document. Retrieved from Raffensperger,T. E. (2010).Safety and security in urban academic libraries:A risk assessment approach to emergency preparedness. Urban Library Journal, 16(1). Retrieved from Shuman, B.A. (1999). Library security and safety handbook: Prevention, policies and procedures. Chicago, IL: American Library Association. Smith, J. (2009, March). Sample disaster and emergency plan for Alabama public libraries. Retrieved from aster%20Plan%20March%202009%20edition.pdf Wilkinson, F. C., & Lewis, L. K. (2008). Developing a safety training program. Library & Archival Security, 21, 77- 85. References & Resources
    19. 19. LINSCHEIDLIBRARYSlide 2: Virginia Tech Shooting Fair Use Stephen Crowley forThe NewYork Times Accused Gunman in Oakland Massacre Tells CBS 5 He’s ‘Deeply Sorry’ Fair Use CBS 5 San Francisco No Bond for Man Suspected of Killing ECU Student Fair Use AKNIU Memorial Public Domain Alex Kriegsmann/Cafebaro First Degree Murder Charge Filed Against Duncan Teen in Christopher Lane’s Death Fair Use Slide 3: Photos by Linscheid Library CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Slide 5:Two Heads are Better Than One CC BY-NC 2.0 Alice Bartlett Slide 6: Català: Imatge de Pluja d‘Idees Public Domain Agripolare Slide 7: Google Logo officially released on May 2010 Public Domain Google Inc Slide 8: Risk Prioritization Matrix Cited in Raffensperger Slide 9: Photo by Linscheid Library CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Slide 10: 3D Judges Gavel CC BY 2.0 Chris Potter for Slide 11:Approved in Red CC BY-SA 3.0 Majays31 Slide 12: Microsoft PowerPoint Clip Art Slide 13: Red Carpet Public Domain Gustavorezende Slide 14: Survivor Logo Fair Use CBS Slide 15: Photos by Linscheid Library CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Slide 16: IndianYoga CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Lara Cerri Goldilocks Runs from the Three Bears Public Domain Arthur Mee and Holland Thompson, eds. The Book of Knowledge (NewYork, NY:The Grolier Society, 1912). Courtesy of the private collection of Roy Winkelman Yawning Tiger Cub II CC BY-ND 2.0 Tambako The Jaguar Evolution LogoWikimedia CC BY-SA 3.0 Johanna Pung forWikimedia Deutschland Slide 17: Day 087/365 CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Great Beyond Photo Credits