ARSL 2016 – Tech Training for Patrons

Always try to connect new information to something patrons already know to help them retain the new information that is being shared.

Eight tips to remember

  1. Self-Identify – do your best, acknowledge unexpected problems and reflect on your experience
  2. Measure your progress – Keep learning in an intentional matter, make a plan and stick to it, small steps are fine (you don’t have to read the whole manual in one sitting, learn about one feature at a time and use what you learn)
  3. Slow deep breaths – As you approach a new situation, take a breath to calm your nerves and think about how to apply what you know to the new situation
  4. Narrate your process – be transparent with the patron about what you know (say you are not sure but let’s see what we can do together) say what you are doing as you do things so they learn and connect the verbal instructions with what they see you doing, if you are not sure ask them to tell you if they see something that may be helpful to accomplish the task
  5. Quality not quantity – slow down while training, allow hands on , tech learning takes time and repetition, may need to remind patrons of that to reduce their frustration at not being able to do it themselves
  6. Teachable moments – need to be aware when a patron is ready to learn and when they just need help getting it done, but also try to find their motivator to learn and try to set them up to be successful
  7. Be a guide not a door mat – be calm and use calming language if the patron is frustrated, maybe suggest a break for you both if they seem like they are getting frustrated
  8. Create tech resource guides – short and to the point! Easy URL to find, create tech displays and make tech seem like just a normal thing in the library


ARSL 2016 – Active Shooter Policies

An active shooter situation has and actively engaged shooter in a confined area, sometime motivated by revenge unpredictable.

Three basic responses –

  1. Run – evacuate, take those willing to go with you, leave all belongings behind
  2. Hide – Close doors between you and shooter, lock and block the door with other furniture and be quite – turn phone on silent – not vibrate
  3. Fight – last resort – don’t fight fair, be aggressive and committed – be aware of what items can be weapons in your work-space – put your library kind helpful instinct aside and be a bad ass!

If you can call 911 be calm and provide as many details as possible about the number of shooters and weapons

When police arrive – Do not give them a reason to confuse you with the shooter!

  • Follow directions
  • Nothing in your hands
  • Hands up and fingers spread
  • No sudden movements
  • Keep calm
  • Don’t ask questions

Invite local authorities to do a walk-through of your location suggesting possible weapons, hiding places, locations for panic buttons, and how they will approach the building in an emergency.

Emergency /Disaster Plan should include a section on Active Shooters; training should be ongoing like fire drills.  Plan should include:

  • Communications plan – how to notify police and let all staff know of the situation – “Melvil Dewey report to the front desk” this would tell all the staff there is a problem at a specific location in the building but not necessarily the shooter. Don’t use the fire alarm
  • Evacuation plan – where to meet so out of the way of arriving police and who will track who has made it out safely, not necessarily a good thing to group together since an easier target
  • Different levels of security needed
    • lock-down plan (just lock doors and continue working)
    • shelter in place (threat in the building but stay in your work area)

Best Practices

  • training
  • environmental awareness – know your hiding spaces, weapons and escape route
  • recognize and respond to threats (see something / say something)
  • conduct risk/safety assessments


North Dakota State Library policy –

Watch – “SURVIVING AN ACTIVE SHOOTER” – LA County Sheriff on YouTube


ARSL 2016 – Backpack project – hiking, geocache, birding, and fishing

Developed the project because they were a small rural community with little commercial activity and members of the community might not be able to afford to purchase the items for themselves.

Backpacks were provided by a local vendor when the library approached them about the need, they only needed 4 to start the project.  Many vendors donated items after they heard how the library was going to use them.

Each backpack includes a card to introduce them to the topic and appropriate etiquette for the environment and handouts with links to additional information online and in the community

Talk to local experts (DNR) and vendors to develop the pack with appropriate local resources – books and equipment.

Planned an open house to introduce the public to the pack with experts on each topic to share information and show how to use the kit.

backpack 1

Geocache and Hiking Backpack contents

backpack 2

Birding and Fishing Backpacks

backpack 3

Birding Backpack contents


backpack 4

Hiking Backpack contents

Chris Magnusson
Arrowhead Library System