Monday, June 21, 2021

Title Change for Friday's Webinar: "Serving Library Patrons with Mental Health Issues: Support, Empathy, and Safety"

 "Serving Library Patrons with Mental Health Issues: Support, Empathy, and Safety"
Part of a special Library 2.0 series with Dr. Steve Albrecht & Dr. Gina Simmons Schneider


Our goal for this webinar is to help library personnel have the tools they need to better serve patrons struggling with a mental health issue or crisis. We regret that our original title ("Serving Mentally Ill Patrons") did not reflect person-first language. Studies demonstrate that when we talk about the person first, and then the illness or disability, it can increase compassion and improve how the person is perceived and treated. When we refer to people as if they were an illness--"she's a schizophrenic, he's a diabetic"--it can feel dehumanizing and can unfavorably influence interactions with the individual. It is preferable to say instead, "she suffers from schizophrenia, he has diabetes." Attached are links to a couple of studies that demonstrate the power of person-first language.

Our special thanks to Library 2.0 members Brian Sullivan and Julie King for thoughtfully drawing our attention to the value of making this change! 


A 60-minute training webinar presented by Library 2.0 and hosted by ALA author and library service, safety, and security expert, Dr. Steve Albrecht and Dr. Gina Simmons Schneider, a San Diego-based licensed psychotherapist.

Library staffers often encounter patrons along a wide-ranging behavioral scale. Some patrons may have a mental health issue that does not outwardly affect their behavior in the library; others may have significant behavioral issues in the library, as they interact with staff and other patrons. This webinar is here to help all library employees provide safe, empathic, non-judgmental service to those patrons who may have a visible mental issue.

The American Psychiatric Association defines mental illnesses as "health conditions involving changes in emotion, thinking or behavior (or a combination of these)..."

Mental illnesses are associated with distress and/or problems functioning in social, work or family activities.
Serious mental illness is a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder (excluding developmental and substance use disorders) resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. Examples of serious mental illness include major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Mental illness is common. In a given year:
* nearly one in five (19 percent) U.S. adults experience some form of mental illness;
* one in 24 (4.1 percent) has a serious mental illness;
* one in 12 (8.5 percent) has a diagnosable substance use disorder. 
Mental illness is treatable. The vast majority of individuals with mental illness continue to function in their daily lives.

Learning Objectives:

  • How trauma/PTSD influences the behavior of certain patrons.

  • Understanding the most common mental illnesses that library staff might see: depression; suicidal comments they might hear from a depressed person in crisis; antisocial personality disorder (especially the manipulation and mistreatment of others); psychotic symptoms (from drug use, schizophrenia); schizophrenia or psychotic patrons, who are delusional or out of touch with reality; bipolar behaviors (especially manic episodes, where patrons may come to the library highly energized); borderline patrons, who may develop uncomfortable attachments to certain staff members; explosive anger/authority issues in patrons; the highly anxious patron.

  • Autism spectrum disorders in patrons; patrons with traumatic brain injuries or brain injury from chronic drug/alcohol use); serving developmentally disabled children and adults.

  • The misperception that patrons with mental health issues are more dangerous to others than themselves.

  • Understanding the three-type criteria for serious mental illness: danger to self, danger to others, or gravely disabled.
    When or if the police need to be called.

  • Self-protection and security strategies for library staff to deal with people who have an apparent mental illness.

  • Community services the library staff can refer them to county behavioral health, support groups, public agencies, private-sector agencies, and treatment centers.

DATE: Friday, June 25th, 2021, at 4:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time

COST: $99/person - includes any-time access to the recording and the presentation slides. To arrange group discounts (see below), to submit a purchase order, or for any registration difficulties or questions, email

TO REGISTER: Click HERE. You will first need to be a member of Library 2.0 (free) and be logged in. Please click "Sign Up" on the top right and we'll approve you quickly. You can pay by PayPal or credit card, and will receive immediate and permanent access to the webinar recording. If you have any trouble registering for a webinar, if you need to be invoiced, or if you have any questions, please email


  • Multiple individual log-ins and access from the same organization paid together: $75 each for 3+ registrations, $65 each for 5+ registrations.
  • The ability to show the webinar (live or recorded) to a group located in the same physical location or in the same virtual meeting from one log-in: $299.
  • Large-scale institutional access for viewing with individual login capability: $999.
  • Email to arrange.


  • All-access annual passes include access to the recordings of all of Dr. Albrecht's previous Library 2.0 webinars, plus live and recorded access to his new webinars for one year.
  • For a $499 individual all-access annual pass to all of Dr. Albrecht's live webinars and recordings for one year, please click here
  • Inquiries for all-access organizational contracts should be directed to
Dr. Gina Simmons Schneider is a licensed psychotherapist and co-director of Schneider Counseling and Corporate Solutions in San Diego, CA. She is certified in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing and Neuroscience for Clinicians. Dr. Simmons Schneider has more than 25 years of experience providing training and consultation on workplace violence prevention, conflict resolution, and anger management. Her book, Frazzlebrain: Break Free from Anxiety, Anger, and Stress Using Advanced Discoveries in Neuropsychology, will be published by Central Recovery Press, in February 2022.


Since 2000, Dr. Steve Albrecht has trained thousands of library employees in 25+ 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. He is currently writing the sequel, The Safe Library: Keeping Staff and Patrons Secure in a Changing World.

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 24 books on business, security, and leadership topics. He lives with seven dogs, two cats, and three chickens.

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