Bully-proofing Your Library
Whether you call it bullying, harassing, intimidating, stalking, threatening, tormenting, browbeating, needling, or pushing people around, commonsense calls it bad behavior. What steps need to be taken during your library’s employment cycle and regarding the culture of your library to prevent bullying behavior? To address incidents with staff and library users, particularly young people? If managers and leaders don’t step up in a timely fashion, it’s easy for library personnel to think that the higher ups are intimidated, or, at worse, support bad behaviors.
Topics include establishing enforceable policies that focus on addressing behaviors in a timely fashion, norms for evaluation, preparing for pushback, the “reasonable” test, the role of supervisors and managers, codes of ethics, conflicting cultures regarding workplace and customer behavior, hiring for emotional maturity, and ensuring everyone is subject to the same guidelines and consequences.
Create a workplace culture that discourages bullying and harassment.
Review and strengthen orientation of new employees regarding unacceptable behaviors.
Establish ethical, legal, and respectful ways to deal with workplace mistakes.
Provide a bully-free space for young people.
Pat Wagner is a trainer and consultant with 40 years of experience working for libraries, universities, local government, non-profits, and small businesses. She supports the success of libraries with programs on personnel, supervision, management, leadership, marketing, strategic planning, project management, and communication. Pat has worked with libraries and library organizations throughout the United States, from the smallest rural storefronts to the largest academic and urban library institutions. Pat also is a frequent speaker at state and national conferences. She is known for her good-humored and practical presentations.