OK, this is probably one of my many posts on this topic.
Like Michael Stephens said:"I think we'll see this one RIPPLE across the Biblioblogosphere like crazy in the next few days." I (as always) also agree so much with Michael Casey's post that this article:"...depicts a problem that many libraries face; large numbers of teens congregating after school hours. Maplewood is not unique in having this "problem"."
I just can't help but suspect that they are going tot his extreme as a means to an end that is not clearly stated right now. Maybe they have been denied funding for a security guard and this can get the community to react and help them get one?
In staff training I constantly remind them of this:
1-Being in public service, you will have to deal with a certain amount of rudeness everyday, from a variety of customers. You have to respond to rudeness with kindness. Be nice to people having a bad day (or bad manners) and you may just turn them around.
2-There is a clear line between rudeness and threat, vandalism, etc..Those should not be tolerated. You have to respond to abuse with solid determination. Protect yourself, your customers and the space we share. Excluding abusers thru privilege suspension or law enforcement involvement will result in a better environment for everyone.
I have said it before, some of it has to do with our expectations, and our willingness to explore ALL our options when faced with SUCCESS issues like this. At MPOW we have had to review policies, provide staff with additional training, and we have had much success with addressing SPACE to create an environment where diverse users can see divers needs met without too much interference. Yea, I'm really proud of that because it HAS WORKED for us. You'd be surprised to hear how many older patrons have appreciated just seeing and HEARING US SAY we value and want to preserve some quiet space for them. You should know that for every one teen that urinates on a bathroom floor, there are 10 that become very pleasant when told they will not be allowed to use public PCs if they don't "respect themselves, others, the space" and 100 that were bright and funny and well behaved to begin with.
technorati tags:library-20, library2.0, library 2.0, libraries, policies, customers,teens