Welcome to Dr. Albrecht's Library 2.0 Service, Safety, and Security Resources

Our Library 2.0 training programs for library staffers and leaders cover service, security, safety, supervision, and even a little stress management. Our goal is to help to keep all library employees physically and psychologically safe, making it easier for them to serve all patrons in their facilities.

Dr. Albrecht's podcast recordings and feed are to the right, and following immediately below that is a full list of his blog posts. A full list of paid webinars is to the left.

UPCOMING WEBINARS

BLOG POSTS

Dr. Albrecht's blog posts are below. One of the features of his blog is "ASK DR. STEVE," where readers submit questions and he answers them. To submit a question for Dr. Steve, please email askdrsteve@library20.com.

Here is the question:

I am a security officer for a library. We are beside a large park with many homeless people that come into the Library. We do have security video cameras but they do not have audio. There are many blindspots inside and outside the building, the side of the building does not have cameras at all. We are required to patrol inside and outside the building and to patrol the park. 95% of the time I and the other security officer work alone. We overlap for a few hours one day a week. We currently do not have body cameras.

The previous two security companies I worked for each used body cameras so I am familiar with how they are used. I have requested a body camera several times. The Library Director has OK'ed the body camera but their boss has not. He says that "the cameras would hurt more than help." We have asked to sit down to discuss this with him but that has not happened yet.

As I am sure you are aware we get a lot of intoxicated, under the influence, or homeless people with mental problems. We are unarmed only carrying a radio. The police are called at least twice a week some weeks--every day if the person causing a disruption will not leave. When the police come it is sometimes a "he said she said" thing, my word against the person I called the police on (this is not always the case, it depends on the police officer that responds). The police have been called on us by patrons (homeless or not) multiple times for enforcing the rules in asking them to leave.

My questions to you, if you would be so kind as to answer. What is your opinion on body cameras? Would you please give pros and cons I can use when I speak to my supervisors?

Dr. Steve's Answer:

I have a trained at some libraries in your state. My best approach to getting body cameras would be to tell your Director that their primary use is to be able to document your interactions with patrons, to be able to defend any false accusations of harassment, discrimination, or bias.

Their secondary use is to fine-tune and improve all service interactions, because the Director can review specific encounters or do an occasional quality audit.

The third reason to use them is for security officer safety, to capture threats or actual violence, and assist in decisions to ban or prosecute patrons. Body cameras are not perfect deterrents (banks have cameras and still get robbed) but they can deter some problem people from acting out.

The two biggest downsides are the cost of the cameras and the cost of the storage software (the archived footage takes up a lot of space).

Hope that helps.

One of the features of Dr. Albrecht's "Service, Safety, and Security" section of Library 2.0 is "ASK DR. STEVE," where readers submit questions and he answers them. To submit a question for Dr. Steve, please email askdrsteve@library20.com.

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Comments

  • I want to place the issue of body cameras aside for the moment and go back to the second sentence. You could have done this entire conversation without blaming the unhoused. It's lazy and inaccurate. I'm embarrassed for you that you didn't seem it appropriate to point that out to the security person. I mean, if that's how the security guard feels about the unhoused he really has no business in the library. 

     

    To be completely frank, I've followed your career for a while and have even attended some of your webinars and I cannot, for the life of me, understand why any library would give you their money.

This reply was deleted.

Dr. Steve Albrecht

Since 2000, Dr. Steve Albrecht has trained thousands of library employees in 25+ states, live and online, in service, safety, and security. His programs are fast, entertaining, and provide tools that can be put to use immediately in the library workspace with all types of patrons. His new book, The Safe Library: Keeping Users, Staff, and Collections Secure, is published by Rowman & Littlefield.

In 2015, the ALA published his book, Library Security: Better Communication, Safer Facilities.

Steve holds a doctoral degree in Business Administration (D.B.A.), an M.A. in Security Management, a B.A. in English, and a B.S. in Psychology. He is board-certified in HR, security management, employee coaching, and threat assessment.

He has written 25 books on business, security, and leadership topics. He lives in Springfield, Missouri, with six dogs and two cats.

His professional webite is at http://drstevealbrecht.com.

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Praise for Dr. Albrecht

"Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for presenting at our staff development day. Our staff has expressed their appreciation for the information and tools you provided. We know the lessons learned will be useful in our day-to-day work. It was a pleasure to have you with us -- even if it was only virtually." - Athens, GA Library

"I wanted to thank you for the session. My husband was listening from the other room and said, 'Wow, that was great!' This was the best
library workshop I've been to, and I've been to a lot! The staff was saying the same in emails." - Emily from MI

"Your suggestions of what to say to challenging patrons will really help me once we allow patrons back into the library. Thanks!" - Lori from IL

"Not only have I learned incredibly valuable skills to use in my career as a public librarian, those lessons will have a ripple effect as I teach a course on Social Crisis Management... I always give Dr. Albrecht the credit in the portions of my lecture and presentation.  And have first hand experiences using these lessons to support his approach. Thanks again for lending your expertise to ensure that as librarians we can remain safe, keep our customers safe and still deliver on our mission and the meaningful work we do each day." - Jen 

"You helped to keep my brain from turning into mush during this long time off. Thank you!" - C. from MO

"I was able to view Library Safety and Security and Interacting with the Homeless. I learned so much and appreciate the education you offered.  I became aware of changes, large and small that I can make in my life to enhance how I interact with all people. I do hope our library offers your classes in the future because I did not view all the webinars that I wanted to and I am sure my coworkers feel the same. Thank you again." - Vicki from VA

"I wanted to send you a note of thanks for your webinars... I watched 5 of them and found them to be incredibly informative. Currently I am working with my library's director to put together a situation response manual for safety and security matters that apply to our own library... What you have shared has been very useful to help set up some guidelines and decide a good direction for training within our organization. Thank you so much for sharing your insights." - Jennifer from IN

"Thank you for the great content. I appreciate it." - Carmen from MT

"[I] found [your webinars] extremely helpful and informative. Thanks again and stay safe!" - Christine from PA

"I remember when you came to our Annual Employee Training Session and presented a terrific class. I was able to view all of your webinars during this time and I learned so much. Your generosity of spirit during this pandemic is truly appreciated and your kindness will be remembered. Thanks again and Cheers." - Bernadette from CA

"We have watched a couple of [your webinars] in the past and they always provide a great approach to issues that are becoming more and more common in public libraries." - Rod from TX

"Your webinars were educational and inspiring." - Karen from GA

"I have recently watched all your webinars... (this begins to sound like a groupie saying, "I have all your records!") and I'm so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from them. They were probably the best work at home professional development material I encountered in the two months my library has been closed. I've worked in public libraries since 1988 and everything you said makes sense in my experience. I look forward to putting what I learned from your webinars to use when we eventually reopen to the people the library exists for. Many thanks!" - Barbara from BC Canada

"'I've learned a lot from your diverse offerings as I knew that I would. I listened to 4 of your webinars at this run. I also attended your talk last year at one of our branch libraries. I hope that your presentations remain in my mind and that your practical, philosophical and respectful methods of engagement can be brought forth in times of need." - Deborah from CA

"We don't always take the time to do online courses or participate in webinars because of time and money restraints. We have been lucky to have the time now to take advantage of these opportunities. Your webinars really pack a lot of info in the time allotted. Your observations and surveys conducted with staff across the country made this applicable and the reality. Many of the situations described sound like our day to day interactions with patrons. Again thank you so much for these valuable webinars. I hope we will be open soon and able to put your tips into practice." - Kathy from MD

"I’ve really enjoyed all of your webinars, especially the ones about security and challenging patrons, and I’ve gained some useful knowledge that I can utilize at my library. I hope you have a wonderful day! Thanks again!" - Deborah from OH

"You're the best of the best." - Nick from CA

"I have found your webinars especially helpful during this time of stay-at-home orders and the inability to report to work for my daily schedule. (My branch is closed indefinitely.) I have especially found "Interacting with the Homeless" and "Stress Management for Library Staff" as the most help to date. I have been doing daily meditation as a stress reliever and taking time to find happiness despite all that is taking place in this world.... having this opportunity to listen to your thought-processes is very invigorating and life-changing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart." - Danielle from MD

"[Y]ou've expanded our minds and helped us greatly with your generosity. Thank you for all that you do, I appreciate it immensely." - Valerie from TX

"Thank you very much for your work and very good webinar." - Donna from IN

"I appreciate your vast knowledge on patrons and safety situations." - Mary from IL

"I've long wanted to explore your work, and have enjoyed and learned from 4 of your webinars so far, with plans to view them all. They are excellent! I am charged with leading our staff around issues of safety and security in our rural system, and you are a clear and dynamic voice in our field. I really appreciate your experience, knowledge, and presentation style, down to talking fast to get the most information into the time of the presentation! Hopefully, I'll be able to obtain the new edition of your book soon, as I hope to keep these themes as relevant currents for the duration of my career." - Kimberlee from CA

Additionally:

"Thank you for your wonderful `Safety and Security in the Library' presentation. I so appreciate that you were able to join us virtually this year and share your knowledge on these topics with our library staff. I look forward to exploring some of the resources you shared with us."

"Thanks so much for recording the presentation. It was fantastic!"

"Thank you, Dr Steve, for your presentation today. It was very helpful and insightful. Your subtle humor also lightened the mood."

"I wanted to reach out and thank you for all the information that you gave in your webinar on conducting a library facility security assessment."

WEBINARS

PODCASTS

BLOG POSTS

DEALING WITH CHALLENGING PATRONS - UNLIMITED STAFF TRAINING VIDEO

Watch Dr. Steve Albrecht on video and onstage, as he presents his safety and security workshop, "Dealing With Challenging Patrons" to a live library audience. 45 minutes for unlimited staff showings at a one-time $495 fee or included in any all-access pass program.

PURCHASE HERE