The Black Belt Librarian: Real-World Safety & Security

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  • Table of Contents
  • About the author
  • Reviews

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' 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
  • Gives library staff tools for communicating effectively with its security professionals, including examples of basic documentation

The 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.


Chapter 1: Inmates Running the Asylum: Stories from the Front Trenches

Chapter 2: Demystifying the Concept of a Security Program: Twelve Essential Elements of Real-World Library Security

Chapter 3: The Librarian in the Mirror


Finding Your Personal Rhythm: Five Question to Ask Yourself
A Self-Support System: Three Vital Aces to Keep Up Your Sleeve

Chapter 4: The Tao of "No"



Approaching Patrons Who Are Not Following Rules of Conduct
Dealing with Teens and Children

Chapter 5: Playing Chess with the Checker Player



With Strategy Comes Confidence
Recognizing and Responding to Anxiety, Belligerence, Out of Control, and Calm
Banning Patrons and Keeping Them Out

Chapter 6: Day-to-Day Security Considerations



What You Can Do Immediately to Make the Library Safer
Designing a Secure Library

Chapter 7: A Strategy for Basic Security Documentation



Daily Security Log
Trespass Log
Potential Problem Log

Chapter 8: Security Personnel Who Actually Help You Be Secure



What to Look for in a Security Officer
The Look of a Professional
Contract or Proprietary Officers?
When to Call Security

Chapter 9: Putting It All Together



Handling and Evaluating Staff



In Closing: Questions for All on Planet Library


Warren Graham

A security professional for more than 25 years, including 17 years as the security manager of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Warren Graham left the library in 2006 to establish Warren Davis Graham Training and Consulting. Graham has made numerous presentations and is a leading speaker internationally on practical day-to-day library security procedures.

"A no-nonsense practical guide to keeping a library safe and secure while remaining open and accessible to the public."
--Midwest Book Review

"This short guide packs a great deal of tips into nine succinct chapters ... what this book does best is require the reader to reflect on their own behaviors and to examine their confidence level when working with problem patrons."