- Do not create a problem by being overly authoritative or dictatorial.
- Listen carefully and give the person your full attention.
- Assess the situation and give the person a chance to ventilate.
- Speak slowly and use a calm tone of voice.
- Do not use phrases that would be considered moralizing, condescending,
- Use pauses and think carefully before responding.
- Maintain eye contact and keep an acceptable distance from the person.
- Explain the library's position in firm, unambiguous language. DO NOT
become involved in bargaining or argument. This may cause the situation
to escalate into a confrontation. Repeat the library's position firmly,
as often as necessary. DO NOT allow yourself to be sidetracked from
the main issue.
- Take immediate action when it is clear that there is, indeed, a problem:
- present suitable alternatives to the behavior which is causing
- let the person know what will happen if the behavior does not stop.
- have a written copy of the rules and regulations available.
- If the customer will not accept what you say or advise, contact your
Who to Call for Assistance
- In emergencies call 911 or 6460 (Campus Security) immediately.
- In nonemergency cases, the line of authority for referring disruptive
behavior problems is as follows:
- From Student Assistants to Supervisor or Coordinator
- From Supervisor or Coordinator to Administrative Librarian and/or
- From an Administrative Librarian and/or Facilities Manager
- The informal "buddy system" may be enough to discourage
a problem situation from developing. Calling another staff person
or supervisor into an area may avert a problem.
In any case, the area supervisor should be made aware of the situation.
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