Every library experiences difficult patrons. Thorough preparation is the best defense: it’s always much better to be proactive than reactive. The authors of Crash Course in Dealing with Difficult Library Customers realized that these kinds of situations are more universal than unique, despite the great variations in library environments and customer bases, and pooled their more than 100 years of experience to offer practical advice that will help library staff prepare for the many kinds of “worst case scenarios”—before they arise.
The book identifies the basic types of problem-causing individuals, thoroughly overviews effective strategies for offsetting their actions, and explains how to successfully manage the stressful, emotionally charged situations that can arise. Drawing on their extensive real-world experience, the authors provide instructions for “last resort” options when dealing with illegal activities, acknowledge the rights of employees in difficult situations, and present strategies that will minimize staff members’ stress levels when dealing with patrons. While this book will be extremely valuable to public library staff, it addresses common situations that can happen in public service at any type of library. Administrators who need to develop policies to protect their staff and their users will also find this unique work essential reading.
- Presents practical, down-to-earth approaches based on the authors' many years of real-world experience that can be applied in any type of library environment
- Provides advice about unpleasant situations in an accessible, non-threatening way that also injects an appropriate modicum of levity into a serious subject
- Supplies essential tools for dealing with difficult patrons ranging from "the censor" to "the VIP" to dangerous, unstable individuals
- Gives readers the knowledge they need to be prepared for handling potential problems, resulting in greater confidence and peace of mind at the workplace