Monday, December 06, 2021

Albrecht: "The Value of Little Old Lady Librarians (LOLs): Better Patron Service Through Alignment"

We've just posted a new Dr. Albrecht blog post in our "Library Service, Safety, & Security" section of Library 2.0: "The Value of Little Old Lady Librarians (LOLs): Better Patron Service Through Alignment."

In my earliest days watching library staff interact with patrons, I was always amazed at the power of those elderly female staffers, who I affectionately called the “Little Old Lady Librarians” or LOLs, for short. They just had an obvious knack for taking care of large and small behavioral issues with certain patrons. Why? If I had to guess, it was because even the most difficult, challenging, entitled, or rude patrons suddenly complied because the LOLs reminded them of their mom, grandma, auntie, or other older female relative who told them how to act, at home and out in public.

I had several encounters working as a library security consultant where staff would ask me to help them intervene with a particularly difficult patron, with mental health issues, who was angry, and under the influence of something. I asked this person to leave and he cursed me out. But when the LOL asked him to leave, he said, “Yes ma’am. Sorry to have been a problem” and he left. This happened more than once, with different patrons, and I was always pleased and amazed at their fortitude when dealing with patrons who wouldn’t comply for me or other staffers, but yet did, for them, every time. 

Read the full post here.

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 offer a series of his paid webinars and recordings  which are available for individual or group viewing here.

Recordings Available:


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.

Dr. Albrecht's recent podcasts episodes include "Mentorship and Succession Planning to Develop Library Leaders," "The Power of Staff Meetings,"Are We Making It Too Hard to Hire Qualified Library People?," "Tools and Tips for Library Supervisors: Parts 1 & 2," "Stop Saying Calm Down," Spirit of Service," "Library Civility: A Code for How We Treat Each Other," "The Code of Quality Service," and "The Power of Surveys." 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. 

Dr. Albrecht's other recent blog posts are available here, including: "The Value of Role-Play Practice at Staff Meetings: Using Challenging Patron Situations to Get Our Responses Right," "Gang Problems in the Library: A Rare But Challenging Security Concern," "The 'Best Boss – Worst Boss' Exercise: Assessing Yourself as a Library Leader," "Developing Financial Knowledge and Budget Skills: What Every Library Supervisor Needs to Know," "Puzzled About the Police Response in Your Library? Perhaps a Better Understanding of Their Unique Culture Will Help," "Safety and Security at the Jacksonville (FL) Library" (a 40-minute video interview with Chet Price, the Safety and Security Manager at the Jacksonville (FL) Library), Solving Conflicts Between Library Employees: A Tool For Getting Along When No One Wants to Get Along," "Is There Hidden Bias at Your Library?," "The Hidden Power of the Pages (Our Employees, Not Our Books)," "Forgiveness: How Libraries Can Host Programs on Restorative Practices - An Interview with Azim Khamisa," "Do Your Library Employees Have the “Spirit of Service?,” and "Library Civility: A Code for How We Treat Each Other." 

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