It Comes with the Territory

Handling Problem Situations in Libraries, rev. ed.


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SKU: 9780786418879 Categories: , ,

About the Book

The mission of libraries is to meet the information needs of the people they serve—but daily, sticky situations arise that make this tough to do. Reports of peepers, use of the library by the homeless for sleeping, inappropriate Internet use by patrons; encounters with offensive personal hygiene, skateboarding in the stacks, the threat of violence, one’s role as a babysitter for latchkey children, censorious complaints: Is there an upswing or are librarians just more sensitized? How do libraries meet these demands?
From the perspective of a working director, this thoroughly updated and revised edition is a commonsense guide to setting fair and appropriate behavior rules and training staff in how to implement them evenhandedly and with reasonably good humor. Issues surrounding street people, the mentally ill, and substance abusers, sexual deviancy and parental child abuse in the library; community censorship; confidentiality of library records; general security; and unaccompanied children, including protecting them and seeing to their emergency medical needs, are among the topics. Emphasis is placed on staff training and writing effective manuals.

About the Author(s)

Anne M. Turner, director of the Santa Cruz City-County Library System, lives in San Francisco, California.

Bibliographic Details

Anne M. Turner
Foreword by Gordon Conable
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1887-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1153-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Second Edition (Gordon Conable)      1

Preface      5


1. Making Behavior Rules      11


2. Street People, the Mentally Disabled, Substance Abusers, and Other Symbols of Our Times      23

3. Dealing with Angry People      35

4. The Nasty Behaviors: Sexual Deviancy, Parental Child Abuse, and Sexual Harassment      45

5. “It’s Free and It’s Safe”—Handling Problems with Unattended Children      62

6. Censorship: Wizards, Sex, and Killing Animals      74

7. E-Mail, Chat Rooms and Websites: Internet Use in the Library      83


8. Securing Our Buildings      95

9. Writing Good Manuals      104

10. Training Staff      112

Notes      123


A. The Library Bill of Rights      129

B. Guidelines for the Development of Policies and Procedures Regarding User Behavior and Library Usage      130

C. Sample Procedures and Policies      133

Index      191

Book Reviews & Awards

“practical…useful”—Booklist; “order this book immediately…interesting…entertaining and educational…outstanding…timely and useful—a must for all sizes and types of libraries”—Library Journal; “good…recommended”—Public Libraries; “Turner has revised and updated this classic guidebook that provides creative and sensible ways for handling sticky situations in public libraries”—SRRT Newletter; “highly recommended”—Public Services Quarterly; “well written…engaging…very helpful and timely”—Reference Quarterly.