opioid abuse

Saving Lives in the Stacks

June 21, 2017

“As this nation’s opioid crisis has exploded, the staff at the public library … have become first responders,” NPR’s Scott Simon told listeners. “And I gather the librarians there have been obliged to become involved in a way that—well, become involved in a way librarians aren’t usually asked to become involved.” What Simon didn’t say—but … Continue reading Saving Lives in the Stacks


Vaping

New Trends in Library Security

June 1, 2017

Library directors and staffers in all parts of the country and in all types of libraries continue to be concerned about challenging patrons who sometimes adversely affect library services, including people who are homeless, have a mental illness, or abuse substances. But what follows are real experiences seen firsthand or recounted by library employees—security concerns that … Continue reading New Trends in Library Security




A few of the 75 Civil War–era photographs that were taken from Bangor (Maine) Public Library and later recovered. These images, along with 50 original World War I– and World War II–era posters that were stolen, had an estimated value of $31,000. The image of the officer leaning over his chair helped identify the set as belonging to the library.

Thwarting Book Thieves

September 16, 2015

What Graves didn’t know was that by the time he brought them to the dealer, the owner had already seen the items at the library a few weeks earlier. “I had been talking about them to the owner while he was visiting our special collections area,” says special collections librarian Bill Cook of Bangor (Maine) … Continue reading Thwarting Book Thieves


Better Communication, Safer Facilities

Better Communication, Safer Facilities

September 14, 2015

Safety and security are everyone’s jobs. This includes the library director, every department head, every supervisor, all full- and part-time employees, library board members, Friends of the library members, elected officials, and even patrons—who can and should tell us about safety or security concerns when using our branches. Safety and security themes Facility safety and … Continue reading Better Communication, Safer Facilities



Ernest Dixon

Biometric Access

May 26, 2015

Paul Sawyier Public Library implemented a biometric identification system in October 2008. Since then, patrons who sign up for a library card have the option to enroll in the finger identification system, which is required only when using the public computers and the media box located in the lobby. To check out materials or log … Continue reading Biometric Access


Example of a webinar

AL Live: Library Security

May 14, 2014

Albrecht explained that the popular idea about the library industry is that it’s about books, when actually it’s about people. “In our case and for this conversation, it’s actually about challenging people.” The panel discussed library security in the context of dealing with challenging or problematic patrons, codes of conduct, and safety for library staff … Continue reading AL Live: Library Security


To Catch a Library Thief: Black Belt Security

March 21, 2012

Graham peppered his talk with anecdotes as he described how to create and maintain safer libraries. He should know.  He’s a frequent presenter on security at ALA and the author of the 2006 classic Black Belt Librarians: Every Librarian’s Real World Guide to a Safer Workplace (now published as The Black Belt Librarian: Real-World Safety and … Continue reading To Catch a Library Thief: Black Belt Security