Friday, July 07, 2023

Dr. Albrecht Blog Post: "Evacuation Training and Patron Safety"

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: "Evacuation Training and Patron Safety." Here is the question that was submitted:
Dear Dr. Steve,
Please forgive me if this question has already been addressed in a previous article or blog post. I recently got hired as a library security manager for our library system's 18 locations, and one of the things our executive team has asked me to focus on is training our staff in response to active attack/active shooter events.  
While I've been blessed to have attended a fair amount of training for active shooter response and am currently certified through ALERRT to teach civilian response to active shooter events, I've noticed that the majority of response models don't seem to account for the difficulties libraries face. In businesses, employees are able to be trained in appropriate lockdown procedures and have access to securable rooms; in schools, teachers and staff are directly accountable for non-employees (i.e. students) and are able to (hopefully) secure them with some ease in classrooms.  
Libraries, obviously, don't perfectly fit these neat models in that we might have hundreds of patrons in our largest locations at any given time, none of whom are trained in our lockdown procedures or have access to staff only areas that are more easily secured, and none of whom (besides perhaps young children during story hour and teens in the young adult rooms) are being directly supervised by staff and are thus able to be easily corralled into a safe room or exit.  
In our library system, we do have unarmed contracted security at our largest locations, and my inclination is to train/utilize them primarily to facilitate the escape or sheltering of patrons as much as is practical (your input on whether that seems potentially feasible or not would be greatly appreciated). What measures are you aware of that other library systems are using to increase specifically patron survivability in the unlikely event of an active attack event? 
You can read Dr. Albrecht's response here

Dr. Albrecht's twice-monthly Library 2.0 podcast and blog posts are available for free, as are: access to 50,000 other library professionals, 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.



    Since 2000, Dr. Steve Albrecht has trained thousands of library employees in 28+ 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. His new book, The Safe Library: Keeping Users, Staff, and Collections Secure, was just published by 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 assessmenHe has written 25 books on business, security, and leadership topics. He lives in Springfield, Missouri, with six dogs and two cats.

    His professional webite is at


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