Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The Hidden Power of the Library Pages (Our Employees, Not Our Books) + Post Pandemic Staff Development and Training

We've posted a new blog post from Dr. Steve Albrecht in our "Library Service, Safety, & Security" section of Library 2.0:

"The Hidden Power of the Pages (Our Employees, Not Our Books)"

[In] the Library World, consider an employee - often a part-timer, a student, or a retired person, paid at or near the bottom of our wage scale - who we ask to combine the skills of a receptionist and a security guard. Behold the Library Page.

We may position these staffers at various Circulation or Information Desks, to perform reception and service duties. But they're most often seen on the floor, shelving books, clearing work areas, cleaning up messes, walking amidst the stacks, and interacting with patrons. Some libraries assign security duties to Pages, asking them to handle disputes between patrons, intervene when staff members get accosted by certain patrons, manage problematic patron behaviors, escort those patrons out of the building, or call the police. 

In short, Pages perform many of the same service and security duties as receptionists and security guards, often for far less pay and more painfully, with not much respect for their efforts.

Other recent blog posts are available here, including: "Forgiveness: How Libraries Can Host Programs on Restorative Practices - An Interview with Azim Khamisa," "Do Your Library Employees Have the “Spirit of Service?,” "Library Civility: A Code for How We Treat Each Other," "The Code of Quality Service for Library Employees," "The North Vancouver Library Stabbing Attacks: Edged Weapons Awareness," "Managing the 'Champion Employee' at the Library: The Need for Management Courage," "Some Leadership Truths for Library Leaders," "Helping Library Patrons with Autism: Start with Understanding," "The Perils of the Parking Lot: Parts 1 and 2," "Schedule Regular Inspection Days," "The Need for a Library Vendor/Visitor Policy," and "Creating the Perfect Library Security Officer." 

Other recent podcasts episodes from Dr. Albrecht include "Spirit of Service," "Library Civility: A Code for How We Treat Each Other," "The Code of Quality Service," "The Power of Surveys," "Working with Elected Officials," "A Guided Meditation for Stress Management and Relaxation," "Stop Apologizing for Library Security," "Let's Talk About Talking," and "Guns in Your Library." You can listen directly on the site or you should also be able to access the podcast in SoundCloud here or in your own podcast app using the RSS feed here.

Click here to let us know what topics you'd be particularly interested in having us cover in the Library 2.0 webinars, blog posts, and podcast series.

While Dr. Albrecht's twice-monthly podcast and blog posts are available for free, as are our regular mini-conferences and all the conference recordings, we also offer a series of paid webinars with Dr. Albrecht which are available for individual or group viewing. Next up is "Post-Pandemic Staff Development and Training" with Maurice Coleman on July 30th:

More information is available here.


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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