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

Our Library 2.0 "Safe Library" 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.



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.

By Dr. Steve Albrecht

Much of my work for Library 2.0 centers around the outward customer service experience: how we treat the patrons and how we can stay safe and secure while doing so. We exist to serve the public and that part of library service will always be of the most importance. 

It also pays dividends to look at how we treat each other, at every level in the library organization. Civility matters, in our interpersonal relationships with each other, whether it’s between leaders, with managers and supervisors to employees, and between employees. From the newest volunteer to the most seasoned library employee, how we treat each other and the type of workplace that we create, with conscious efforts, make a difference in retention, morale, and ultimately, how we take care of our patrons. You want to feel good about coming to work and good about doing your work, and these are separate and related feelings--you can want to go to work and not want to do your work, vice versa, both, or neither. Good feelings about both can and should rub off on your co-workers. 

The work environment we intentionally create becomes something to be proud of. It encourages library applicants to want to apply, new library employees to want to stay, and employees at other branches to want to transfer there. The reverse is true too. When we mistreat each other, when supervisors mistreat employees, or we allow a toxic workplace to grow and saturate the facility, good people quit, other miserable employees stay and make their co-workers miserable, and the reputation around town is, “This Is Not A Good Place To Work.” At a time when many public agencies and private sector firms are competing hard to get and keep skilled employees, reputations matter. When we use praise for each other and get it from our bosses, when we treat each other with dignity and respect (not just say it, but demonstrate it, daily), and when we hold ourselves and our leaders accountable to foster and nurture a nourishing workplace, it ends up improving our customer-patron relationships too.

One of the challenges we can encounter when trying to create a civil workplace comes when we create platitudes instead of action statements. The phrase, “We need to respect each other here,” sounds great when we say it during a team-building exercise or when we see it on an easel pad page, created during a staff meeting (or on one of those motivational posters with trees and lakes and kayaks). The key is to turn an abstract concept – “respect” – into operational behaviors. “Respect each other” means things like returning email messages promptly, making eye contact, not killing new ideas in meetings, and valuing lifestyle differences. It’s important to turn ideas into tools everyone can use. 

The following “Code of Civility,” created by my father, Dr. Karl Albrecht (www.KarlAlbrecht.com) offers a set of guidelines for us to get along, not just in words about polite workplace behavior, but in how to turn ideas into actions. Consider these civility steps for your library:  

In our library organization . . .

  1. Our library leaders model and encourage a culture of civility. 
  2. We treat each other with respect, courtesy, and consideration.
  3. We value the small courtesies of everyday life.
  4. We value the diversity in people, ideas, and points of view.
  5. We can disagree agreeably - we don’t personalize or emotionalize our differences.
  6. We resolve misunderstandings maturely, without accusing, blaming, or finger-pointing.
  7. We cooperate between work groups, not putting fences between us.
  8. We play fair, not letting destructive office politics divide us.
  9. We share information and knowledge, understanding that they are valuable assets.
  10. We expect each other to act as good citizens of our library organization.    

A complementary podcast on this topic is at https://soundcloud.com/user-311117266-556053777/albrecht-code-of-civility

Karl Albrecht's “Code of Civility” offers 10 practical steps we can put to use today. If you’re interested in having customized booklets with this Code printed for your library, please get in touch with admin@learningrevolution.com.

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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, 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.

In 2015, the ALA published his book, Library Security: Better Communication, Safer Facilities. His new book, The Safe Library: Keeping Users, Staff, and Collections Secure, was just published by 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 25 books on business, security, and leadership topics. He lives in Springfield, Missouri, with six dogs and two cats.

More on The Safe Library at thesafelibrary.com. Follow on X (Twitter) at @thesafelibrary and on YouTube @thesafelibrary. Dr. Albrecht's professional website is 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


"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."





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.