Troubled, angry, forgetful, violent...there are many patrons who call on librarians to use their interpersonal spidey-senses, as well as reader advisory skills.
Librarians serve and interact with the public and must be prepared to encounter difficult situations as best as we can, to the benefit of all parties involved.
This article provides examples of a wide-range of scenarios you might consider for staff preparedness and training, as well food for thought as to what your own individual reaction would be to certain behaviors. Expecting, mentally rehearsing and therefore being able to confidently provide service (or enacting appropriate policies) when the time comes, can go a long way in diffusing and take some of the stress out of these situations you might encounter.
What’s more, by confronting the realities of the day-to-day struggles of “difficult” patrons, you may find opportunities to serve others and impact others in ways beyond literacy and access to information.
It’s true that doing things with other people provides reinforcement for healthy habits. If you’re going for a walk at lunch and also need to talk to your co-worker about a program idea, why not invite them along and do both at once?
This article provides a rich list of ideas for incorporating activity, movement, and exercise into your socializing opportunities, events, meetings, and group activities at work from ACEfitness.org
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