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The Black Belt Librarian: Real World Safety…
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The Black Belt Librarian: Real World Safety & Security

by Warren Graham

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Interesting book with great insight into library safety. ( )
  mlake | Apr 28, 2015 |
Review for Catholic Library World by Reviewer: Michael F. Bemis, Freelance Reference Book Reviewer, St. Paul, Minn.

While the title may raise some eyebrows, information professionals need not be alarmed. The author is certainly not suggesting that we channel Bruce Lee when confronting an unruly patron, rather, that we adopt the philosophy undergirding the chop-socky stuff, which imparts a sense of equanimity and self-control. Witness the following passage: “My instructor would talk of mizo no kokoro, a ‘mind like water.’ You have to keep your mind calm and focused, he said, like a calm body of water, to accurately reflect the world around you. Negative emotions are like ripples in the water, distorting the reflection” (p. 25, under the heading of “Attitude”).
The gist of the book is pretty straightforward. In no-nonsense language, Graham informs his readers to make a list of rules of behavior, enforce these rules consistently, keep track of those who are either unwilling or unable to abide by these rules and follow up with consequences for those who are habitual troublemakers, i.e., suspension of library privileges. Other topics discussed include aspects of library design that are conducive to good order, technology helps (video cameras, for example) and the sometimes touchy subject of whether or not to employ security personnel in the library, which frees up the staff from having to play the role of Town Sherriff, but in the opinion of some, sends the wrong message.
This is all solid, well-written stuff, the serious subject matter lightened considerably by a sprinkling of humorous personal anecdotes gleaned from the author’s many years in the security field. While some may see this as preaching to the choir, it is well to be reminded that keeping the peace is everybody’s business and goes far to ensure a welcoming environment. That being said, this would be an appropriate purchase for any library, regardless of size or specific function. ( )
  bemislibrary | Jan 18, 2014 |
graham does a great job of providing practical usable security solutions for open access facilities like the public library. he approachrs his topic with humor and humility, which sets the reader at ease with what can be a stressful topic. he also does a good job with the balance public libraries have to maintain between preserving patron privacy and maintaining a safe environment. ( )
  samanthadeirdre | Sep 5, 2013 |
Good practical advice laced with entertaining/scary stories with a snarky attitude. ( )
  StefanieGeeks | May 3, 2013 |
This book should be required reading for all public librarians. A straightforward how-to about writing effective security policies, dealing with patrons who don't follow the rules, physical security and personal safety. ( )
  kqueue | Jun 25, 2012 |
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Much has changed in the library world since I started consulting full time five years ago.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0838911374, Paperback)

Sharing expertise gleaned from more than two decades as a library security manager, Graham demonstrates that libraries can maintain their best traditions of openness and public access by creating an unobtrusive yet effective security plan. In straightforward language, the author
Shows how to easily set clear expectations for visitors behaviorPresents guidelines for when and how to intervene when someone violates the code of conduct, including tips for approaching an unruly patronOffers instruction on keeping persistent troublemakers under control or permanently barred from the libraryGives library staff tools for communicating effectively with its security professionals, including examples of basic documentationThe Black Belt Librarian arms librarians with the confidence and know-how they need to maintain a comfortable, productive, and safe environment for everyone in the library.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:24 -0400)

Sharing expertise gleaned from more than two decades as a library security manager, the author demonstrates that libraries can maintain their best traditions of openness and public access by creating an unobtrusive yet effective security plan. In straightforward language, the author: Shows how to easily set clear expectations for visitors' behavior; Presents guidelines for when and how to intervene when someone violates the code of conduct, including tips for approaching an unruly patron; Offers instruction on keeping persistent troublemakers under control or permanently barred from the library; and Gives library staff tools for communicating effectively with its security professionals, including examples of basic documentation. Also, this guide arms librarians with the confidence and know how they need to maintain a comfortable, productive, and safe environment for everyone in the library.… (more)

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