Monday, December 19, 2022

New Albrecht Blog Post on Library 2.0 - Libraries in the “First Amendment Threat Space”: Book Banners, Content Protesters, and Program Haters

We've just posted a new blog post by Dr. Albrecht in our "Library Service, Safety, & Security" section of Library 2.0"Libraries in the “First Amendment Threat Space”: Book Banners, Content Protesters, and Program Haters."
In a recent Library 2.0 webinar, where I was speaking about so-called First Amendment “Auditors” (their own-self created title, don’t forget), I advised libraries to respond to these highly-disruptive people in their facilities or board meetings as follows.

Assess all threats, protests, angry confrontations, or other negative encounters with these individuals or groups, using a team-based approach. You should already have a team in place. Whether you call it a Threat Assessment Team, a Critical Incident Team, or a Safety and Security Team, the name doesn’t matter as much as the members...

You should request a law enforcement response to all incidents from a ranking member of your local agency, preferably a lieutenant or above. The first one or two patrol officers or patrol deputies who respond initially may not know a lot about the tactics of these First Amendment “Auditors,” and may escalate the situation by arguing with them or trying to make an arrest that is not actually legal.

All staff needs awareness-building training and to be reminded to have “polite patience” and the confidence to say and do the right things when confronted by individuals or groups of protesters. These First Amendment “Auditors” (FAAs) will want to argue with them; question their motives and abilities; or debate the law, Code of Conduct, or library use or materials policies. (This is never a good idea, since there is no winning this debate.) All staff need to remember to be neutral while these FAAs are making a video record of their encounters for later posting on social media sites....
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.

Webinar Recordings Available:


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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