Monday, July 11, 2022

Dr. Steve Albrecht Blog Post: "Librarians and Uniforms - Does Staff Need a More Formal Look?"

We've just posted a new "Ask Dr. Steve" blog post by Dr. Albrecht in our "Library Service, Safety, & Security" section of Library 2.0"Librarians and Uniforms - Does Staff Need a More Formal Look?" 
Food for thought time: Have we recently considered the value of putting library employees into a work uniform? There are pros and cons for both sides of this issue, including costs, the need for a more specific dress code policy, and getting employee buy-in. But there are some service and security benefits that can help move the decision toward a more formal look.

...For the sake of this discussion, let's say your library employees wear whatever clothing they like - and except for their name tags - look like everyone else who comes into the building. Now let's imagine that we put our library employees - including the directors, managers, and supervisors - into polo shirts or long sleeve dress shirts (they could still wear whatever shoes and pants, shorts, skirts, capris, etc., they wanted). The shirts would have your library logo and/or the name of your city or county on them. Sending them out onto the library floor dressed like this, what might be the reaction from the patrons and the benefits to the employees?

Some patrons may not notice or care, others would certainly like the enhanced visibility, and a tiny few would complain that this is just another example of how they "miss the old days" at the library.

The advantages: it tells our patrons immediately who works there (and who does not, which could also be helpful to our police, fire, and medical first responders who enter the library); it tells our patrons and co-workers who is who in an emergency situation (where some people can get stress-created tunnel vision and not recognize an employee); and it suggests to our patrons a bit of professionalism that they are already used to seeing elsewhere. Most public contact jobs have a standard "uniform" for their employees: fast food and sit-down restaurants, bank tellers, hotel workers, repair people, airline crew members, car rental counters, and retail stores, to name a few...
You can 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 also offer a series of Dr. Albrecht paid webinars and recordings which are available for individual or group viewing here.

We also invite you to this month's Dr. Albrecht paid webinars: July 15th's "Porn and Patrons in the Library: What to Do About a Vexing Issue." 


Since 2000, Dr. Steve Albrecht has trained thousands of library employees in 28+ states, live and online, in service, safety, security, and supervision. 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 Users, Staff, and Collections Secure, for Rowman & Littlefield.

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 six dogs, two cats, and three chickens. (Not all in the same room, of course.)

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