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

Dr. Albrecht's podcast feed is below, and following immediately below that are his blog posts (you have to be logged in as a member of Library 2.0 [free] to see). Additionally:

Our 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.

BLOG POSTS INTRO

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:

Greetings,

In the case of an active shooter shelter in place order from one's institution, is a given department/library serving the public obligated to prevent members of the public from exiting?

At any point is the department liable for the safety of a person who chooses not to shelter in place and instead exiting the department/library?

At any point if a person is prevented from leaving is the department illegally detaining a person?

Dr. Steve's Answer:

Good questions all. I'm not a lawyer, so this is not legal advice, but I think the short answers are no, no, and probably not.

Here's a parallel to your scenarios: Most states, cities, and counties - that interact with local or national media people - allow them to get close to a crime scene or large-scale emergency (as long as they won't destroy evidence, reveal parts of the investigation, or interfere with the incident). Some cops call this the "media's right to die" rule, which means they can get close to a house with a SWAT incident, where the bad guy is shooting at everyone, or stand 20 feet from a burning house as the firefighters use their hoses, or film some other harrowing event close up.

This closeness comes with the implied warning that the cops/fire aren't there to specifically protect them as they respond. If they want to film, it's completely at their own risk.

In your library situations, our duty of care for adults leaves the building once they leave the safety of our shelter-in-place advice. If they want to put themselves in harm's way, that's on them. If they ignore or decide against our safe harbor, that's their right and we cannot/should not stop them. Let's say they decide to leave a safe room and by doing so, bring attention to the shooter of its location. We can't force them to stay or be quiet, even if it puts the rest of us in peril.

The only exception I would make is for juveniles. I think we have a higher duty of care for those under 18 and we would be within our right to keep them from leaving a safe room, for example: a 12-year-old gets scared and tries to bolt through a locked door, we prevent that for his own good and ours.

Hope that helps.

Thanks, Dr. Steve

Follow-up from the Same Individual:

Thank you for taking time to answer. Unfortunately, it was a situation I was faced with several days ago when our institution had an active shooter shelter in place order. I was faced with either allowing persons to leave on their own volition or saying no they could not leave once inside the library. No one has complained at the decision--I suspect because they too don't know what the right answer was. However, we were sheltering in place for 3 hours before getting an all-clear from campus police. I've raised the questions with campus police and they too don't have an answer yet. So, I will continue to ponder what the best solution is.

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply. It's more than our campus police offered!

Dr. Steve Reply:

Ugh! Three hours! If it was a drill, it was done poorly. If it was not a drill, then there needed to be better communication with your facility. No drill should last three hours and no real event should go that long without an update as to what is happening, where, and why. Thanks for the conversation on it.

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Comments

  • I'm in a high school library.  The entire school, staff and students, has been trained in the ALICE method for an active shooter situation.  When we can determine where the threat is, flight is our preferred option. Then, we do our best to get the students to shelter and prepare to fight if necessary.  That said, if students choose to flee, we are not to stop them.  This was the most difficult thing for us to accept after years of duck and hide training.  I have to admit that I do feel more empowered with this training. 

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Dr. Steve Albrecht

Since 2000, Dr. Steve Albrecht has trained thousands of library employees in 28+ states, live and online, in service, safety, security, and supervision. His programs are fast, entertaining, and provide tools that can be put to use immediately in the library workspace with all types of patrons. In 2015, the ALA published his book, Library Security: Better Communication, Safer Facilities. He is currently writing the sequel, The Safe Library: Keeping Users, Staff, and Collections Secure, for Rowman & Littlefield.

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 24 books on business, security, and leadership topics. He lives with six dogs, two cats, and three chickens. (Not all in the same room, of course.)

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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

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

BLOG POSTS