As kids are going back to school, we thought it was the perfect time to send out some reminders as well as scenarios/scripts for handling some of the more regular conflicts that can come up. This is the third post in a series of “Back to School” tips.
Just as in all spaces of the library, teens (12-18) are expected to follow the Customer Conduct Policy when they are in The Edge. Conflicts that start at school can sometimes end up escalating after school when teens are visiting the library. Fighting words and threats are not allowed, and are grounds for banning from the library for the night. Specifically, we have a zero tolerance policy for the following: cussing, roughhousing, yelling. This can sometimes feel a little gray, so here are a few examples:
Scenario 1 – Cussing: You think you hear a teen on the computer muttering a bad word under his breath while he’s playing a game. Potential Response: (to the teen) Remember you’re not allowed to cuss while in the library. Please watch your language.
Scenario 2 – Cussing: A teen yells at another teen and calls her a cuss word. Potential Response: (to the teen) It’s time to leave for the night. You’re not allowed to cuss or yell in the library. You’re welcome to come back tomorrow as long as you follow the Customer Conduct Policy. (Walk them to the door of The Edge and go out into the hallway to make sure they turn left to leave. Inform Security that you have asked that person to leave for the evening.)
Scenario 3 – Outside food: A group of siblings brings in Burger King meals. They eat while playing computer games. No one notices them until they are nearly done. They have made a bit of a mess with their trash and the condiments. Paper is on the floor. Ketchup is on the table. Potential Response: Hey, it looks like you had Burger King for supper. Just so you know, you can’t eat meals like that in the library. Next time, you can eat at Burger King or eat outside, like a picnic, and then come into the library. You can bring in drinks with a lid or a snack. Okay? This has left a bit of a mess. I need you to clean up after yourself. Let’s do that now. Here’s a trash can. (You as staff may need to get something to wipe up ketchup. You can give them a paper towel and some water to clean up, but we should not give them a chemical cleaner. If the problem is significant let Maintenance know.) If this was a repeat problem, extreme situation, or an uncooperative group, send them home.
The clearer our expectations and messaging are at the beginning of the school year, the easier the school year will be for all customers and staff. Thanks for your help in making sure kids feel safe and welcome in the library!
We’re here to help if you have any questions and to support you in your work!
Your Public Services Team – Marie, LeAnn, Autumn and Debbie