Good manners and a friendly demeanor can handle most library customer issues. But what if being courteous is not enough? Do you, your staff, and your co-workers know what to do if someone is emotionally bullying or physically threatening to staff or other customers?  Belligerent? Acting out because of drugs, alcohol, or other cognitive issues? Refusing to leave? Caught stealing or damaging property?

The awareness, attitude, and actions of library employees are the first defenses against customers who are AOA (Angry on Arrival).

Make safe practices a priority for frontline staff. Planning, consistent enforcement of policies, training, support from supervisors and managers, and applied technology can work together to protect employees, customers, vendors, and visitors as well as your workplace’s property.

At the conclusion of webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Ensure everyone on the staff knows what to do in emergencies
  • Lower the drama of difficult encounters with library customers
  • Develop consistent responses to challenging customer behavior
  • Improve basic security features of your workplace.
  • Institute regular safety programs with professionals.


Original broadcast March 8, 2016

Pat Wagner – Biography

Pat Wagner and her husband Leif Smith own Pattern Research, Inc., [sieralearn.com], a 40-year-old training, research, and consulting business. She has worked for libraries and higher education as an educator and consultant since 1978, focusing on behavioral and organizational skills that support institutional and personal success. Her specialties include conflict management, customer service, marketing, supervision, project management, and ethics.

Pat is a frequent speaker at state and national library conferences and has worked with libraries and library-related organizations in 48 states and Canada, from small rural storefronts to the largest urban and academic libraries. She has two published books related to libraries and contributed to Conflict Management for Libraries: Strategies for a Positive, Productive Workplace (https://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=46) as well as numerous articles for library-related books and magazines.

Pat is known for her practical and good-humored programs. She lives in Denver with her husband and two pushy cats.