How safe is your library?

Do you have a safety policy tailored to your community and resources?


Safety in libraries should be a top priority for library managers to ensure a welcoming, respectful and secure environment for all who wish to make use of the space. It is important to strike a balance between offering a broad open door policy for all community members and ensuring a safe, secure environment for all.

While libraries are dedicated to making all people welcome, the observance of two commonplace standards of behaviour is essential:

  1. The security and safety of people or property should not be infringed
  2. Due regard should be shown for the needs, sensitivities and rights of others.

Many client activities can prove disruptive and/or dangerous, including personal hygiene, canvassing, drug use, public intoxication, abusive language, and physical assault. Library staff need to be on the alert for any unsafe conduct, and any policies about how the offending clients will be treated need to be communicated with the community.

Check out State Library of Queensland’s Responsible Conduct Policy and see how this policy defines the commonplace standards of behaviour on which fulfilment of this purpose depends, and establishes how State Library staff respond when these standards are not observed.