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Training Library Staff to Be “In Charge”. Brett Lear Jefferson County Public Library Speaking Points. Training staff to be “in charge” Policies that help guide staff Support systems.

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Training Library Staff to Be “In Charge”

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training library staff to be in charge

Training Library Staff to Be “In Charge”

Brett Lear

Jefferson County Public Library

Jefferson County Public Library

speaking points
Speaking Points
  • Training staff to be “in charge”
  • Policies that help guide staff
  • Support systems
what do we mean by person in charge pic
What do we mean by “Person In Charge” (PIC)?
  • House sitter analogy
  • Units handle problems first

The PIC is the:

  • 2nd Level Go-To Person
  • Point person for emergencies
  • Documents everything
  • Notifies Chain of command
facts about jcpl
> 100,000 visitors per month

11 locations

Open daily


No central library

Library sizes and staffing levels vary widely

Large # of internet stations available

> 1 million volumes

Facts About JCPL…
why we train staff to take charge
Manager not always in library

Many part time staff

Administration only open 40 hrs per week/9-5

Few locations with security guards

Frequent use of subs

Trouble travels

Reporting problems

Unclear role of PIC

Staff support of PIC

Need to empower employees to act

Why We Train Staff to Take Charge
objectives of pic training
Define role of PIC

Teach PIC role

Focus on common sense and informed decision making

Improve communications

Increase accurate documentation and track trends

Uniform way to handle patron concerns/problems

Increase safety

Objectives of PIC Training
pic training
PIC Training
  • What is the training?
  • Who attends?
  • What is covered?
  • Handouts & Homework
who attends
Who Attends?
  • Managers, unit heads (heads of circulation and information services), and most supervisors
  • Librarians
  • Other staff to give them knowledge of the duties of the PIC and to assist the PIC when needed

PIC Training

9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Instructor’s Agenda

9:00-9:10 Introduction (Library Manager)

9:10-9:20 Deputy County Librarian: Person In Charge Role

9:20-9:40 Building Services: Building Emergencies/Procedures

9:40-10:00 Information Technology: Technology Problems

10:00-10:20 Public Information Office: Media and Publicity

10:20-10:35 Break

10:35-11:05 Library Manager I: Emergency Situations

11:05-11:35 Library Manager II: Complaints Regarding Policies

11:35-11:50 Break – 15 minutes

11:50-12:35 Problem Solving: Group Exercises & Discussion

12:35-1:00 Wrap Up: Homework Assignment & Evaluations


What JCPL expects of PICs

  • You will use common sense.
  • You will make a decision to the best of your ability
  • You can tell the difference between and know how to act upon real emergencies and routine problems.
  • You can tell the difference between an eccentric and problem patron. And if you’re not sure, you’ll take the time to gather some facts before acting.
  • You know your resources within the library, including: PIC notebook in each library, emergency procedures handbook, and online Policy Manual.
  • You are not alone when dealing with a PIC situation. Call on other PICs in your library or at other libraries for backup.
  • You can delegate some tasks to other staff members, such as calling IT.
  • JCPL will support you as long as you follow these expectations. You are the one on the scene and the one best able to judge what is going on.
group activity
Group Activity


  • The fire alarms go off. It is the second time today. The first time the fire dept. responded they said it was a problem with the building's system reacting to changes in water pressure.
  • A young man runs into the library and says that someone has a gun in the parking lot.
  • A female page tells you that a 20-something man has been following her in the stacks and touched her back and shoulders asking her if she would like a massage.
  • A patron reports that there are two children in a parked car outside the library.
  • A group of teenagers are sitting on a bench on library property. One of the teens comes in to library and says that a man is yelling at them and telling them to be quiet. She is extremely frightened.
Patron Complaints:
  • A male patron wants to know why we have security cameras in the library, and what we do with the tapes.
  • A woman spits at a Circ clerk after she is told that she has fines on her card.
  • A patron wants to work off her fine like she does at Bemis.
  • A patron calls and needs to talk to her son because she is not going to be able to pick him up as planned.
  • A patron’s computer time is up and someone with a reservation on that computer is waiting to begin. You inform the first patron that she must vacate the computer. Her response is to say she’ll punch you in the face if you ever talk to her again.
various handouts
Various Handouts
  • Agenda (participant’s version without times)
  • IT handouts (consult with Director of Information Technology)
  • Bibliography for PICs (see page 5)
  • Blank sheet of paper for “Notes”
  • Building Services handouts (consult with Building Services Supervisor)
  • Calling for Help
  • Confidentiality Training (pages 5-15 through 5-18 from the Circ Manual; contains Library Law section CRS 23-90-119 on confidentiality)
  • Digital Camera Guidelines
  • Disturbance Instructions for Unattended Minors
  • Emergency Closing Guidelines (Policy Manual – Emergency Handbook)
  • Emergency phone numbers wallet card (JCPL form #743)
  • Evaluation Form
  • Freedom to Read Statement
  • Handling Behavioral Emergencies
  • Internet Use and Safety Policy
  • It’s About Choices (JCPL form 745)
  • JCPL Disturbance Policy, Disturbance Directives, & Disturbance Guidelines
  • JCPL PIC Training Documentation form
  • Library Bill of Rights
  • “Handling Problems and Complaints Concerning Circulation”
  • Patriot Act Confidentiality Request Instructions
  • PIC Duties list (see X:/PSMT/PIC Documents/PIC Duties)
  • PIC Homework Assignment (see X:/PSMT/PIC Documents/PIC Training/Homework Assignment)
  • PIO handouts (consult with Director of Public Information)
  • First page of online Policy Manual
  • Process to Use When Problem-Solving as PIC
  • Reconsideration of Material form
  • Sample Accident Form
  • Sample Incident Form
  • Telephone tree
  • Unattended Persons Guidelines

See your manager to discuss location specific questions you have about being PIC for your location, including:

  • Where is the cell phone kept and how do you use it? A good practice is to use the cell phone to leave a message on your Manager’s voice mail.
  • Where is the nearest off-site phone you can use if the library phones or cell phones don't work?
  • What police number do you call and where is it posted?
  • What have been the most recent incidents PIC's have had to handle for your location?
  • What does staff know/understand about working with PIC’s?
      • Do they know which situations to handle vs. refer to PIC?
      • Do they know the emergency circumstances in which a PIC may ask them to perform a different job task?
  • Where are the emergency exits for your building?
  • Where are the keys kept for various doors in the building?
  • Where are the emergency controls for your building (electric, water, HVAC)?
  • What is the emergency evacuation plan for your building?
  • Where are the fire alarm boxes located?
  • Where is the fire extinguisher located and how do you use it?
  • Where is the Knox box for your building located?
  • What are the procedures for enabling/disabling security system?
  • What else does your local manager want you to know about serving as PIC for your location?
how do you make it work the pic model
How do you make it work?The PIC Model

PIC Training


Support Systems

policy procedural support
Policy Manual, including:

Disturbance Policy

Evacuation Procedures

Emergency Procedures

Opening / Closing Procedures

Procedures for dealing with the media

Top Management Support

Policy/Procedural Support
things in place
Signage in Public Areas

Lines of sight

Reporting System

Accidents& incidents

Paper and on-line

Emergency Cell phones

PIC assignments posted

Things In Place
people support
Library Managers available as resources (all Managers’ schedules are posted online)

24/7 Senior Management PIC

Chain of Command

Telephone Tree

24/7 IT Help

24/7 Building Services

Police Liaison

Substitute Call Lists

Emergency phone number card

People Support
additional and continuing training
“Nicoletti Training”--John Nicoletti, Ph.D.

Threat Assessment

Disaster Management

Threat & Violence Assessment Team Development

Crisis Response Team Development

Policy Development

Develop training as needs arise & change

Intellectual freedom training to help staff make decisions regarding Internet use, etc.

Additional and Continuing Training
training library staff to be in charge1

Training Library Staff to Be “In Charge”

Brett Lear

Jefferson County Public Library

Jefferson County Public Library