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SWON News - Violence Prevention, Visualizing the Silent Dialogue about Race, and more!

Monday, March 26, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Violence Prevention in Libraries: De-escalation Techniques

 Your library workplace probably has procedures in place for events like fires and tornadoes, but do you have a plan for when man-made violence strikes? Even though libraries may be seen as quiet and calm, they are just as vulnerable to acts of violence as any public building.  Sometimes, incidents happen between patrons because they bring their personal relationship problems from home to the stacks; other times, a patron may become irate at a library staff member. There are even instances of library workplace violence. Some patrons become violent because of underlying emotional, mental, or physical health issues. How can you best plan to handle these situations? Prevention is the key - there are techniques that can help you to stop any violence before it even starts. According to the Crisis Prevention Institution (CPI), a "standard-setting resource for organizations that serve society’s most vulnerable," much violence can be prevented by using de-escalation techniques. These actions can be used in any field - libraries, schools, health care, customer service, and more.

Some of CPI's top recommended de-escalation and violence prevention techniques include being empathetic and non-judgmental: try not to dismiss behavior or speech that you find "weird" or irrational. Whatever is happening for that person is real to them, and it may be the most important or stressful thing happening in their life at that moment. Always allow at least 1.5 to 3 feet of personal space from the escalating individual while using nonthreatening nonverbal cues; the more someone loses control of themselves, the less of your words they are hearing. Keeping your own tone and body language neutral, calm, and relaxed will help to diffuse tension. Finally, offer simple and enforceable limits with clear choices and consequences: be clear, speak simply, and offer the positive choice first.

The first and best thing we can do to prevent violence in our libraries is to de-escalate intense interactions we experience or witness - whether these are patron to patron, patron to staff, or staff to staff. By following the recommendations above and other prevention tips, we can minimize the amount of conflict and violence we see in our workplaces. If you are looking for more information on preventing and handling violent situations at your workplace, CPI and ALA offer many online resources. SWON is also hosting a webinar by Lori Droege on April 10th in which participants will explore how libraries and their staff can contribute to the prevention of bullying and dating/sexual violence. Lori will share examples from a violence prevention partnership between a Kentucky library, high school, and rape crisis program. Finally, there will be discussions and activities designed to give participants feasible action steps for working in their own communities to empower teens and adults to reduce violence. Can't make it on April 10th? Anyone who registers will recieve an archived recording, so go ahead and reserve your spot now 

Emily Wages, MLIS
Emergent Trends & Technology Educator, SWON Libraries


Innovation Conversations - Shhh…Visualizing the Silent Dialogue about Race

ALAO and SWON Libraries Consortium partner on a series of webinars a year which are free for all SWON or ALAO Members. Coming up is "Shhh…Visualizing the Silent Dialogue about Race." This presentation demonstrates the evolution of the “race card project,” inspired by Michele Norris (, at a large public university. We describe how the project got started within the context of the university’s annual campus and community wide diversity awareness programming. We will share the simple steps of setting up a race card wall and monitoring the comments, as well as the challenges that are involved with a sensitive topic like this, particularly when dealing with a diverse student body. Finally, we will outline our efforts to incorporate this outreach event into the curriculum through collaboration with faculty. The audience for this presentation will be able to a) plan this outreach event on a very low budget, b) anticipate potential challenges based on the characteristics of their own institution, and c) identify partners for collaboration outside their library.

Can't take time away on the webinar date? Anyone who registers for our webinars will recieve an archived recording, so sign up now


ALAO/SWON Innovation Conversation: Visualizing the Silent Dialogue about Race 
FREE for employees of Supporting Member Institutions & ALAO Members*
$15 for members in our Ohio service area
$20 for everyone else
4/18/2018 - Online

*ALAO Members, to attend this webinar for free, you must register via the ALAO Website at

  Register Here  


Teen Services Special Interest Group (TeenSIG)

The TeenSIG hopes to create a community that shares resources and provides support for librarians and information professionals who work with young adults. We welcome all library and information workers who serve teens to join the Teen Services SIG! At this meeting, we will hear from one of Lane Libraries' Teen Librarians and tour the Fairfield branch. We will also hold discussion about various issues related to Teen Services: programming, readers advisory, successes and challenges, resources, brainstorming, and professional development. Any and all library staff who work with teenagers are encouraged to attend, this includes library staff, YA librarians, Youth Services librarians who serve all ages, High School Media Specialists, and more. 


2:00 - 2:30 pm - Short presentation by Lane Library Teen Librarian

2:30 - 3:30 pm - Discussion 

3:30 - 4:30 pm - Tour of the Fairfield branch

We hope to see you there!


Teen Services SIG
Date - 4/11/2018
Lane Libraries
Fairfield branch
1485 Corydale Drive
Fairfield, Ohio  45014

  Register Here  

    Calendar Icon

Coming up on the Calendar...


Please register for SWON & PCI events by the Friday before they take place

      School Libraries Special Interest Group
SWON SIGs are always FREE
4/9/2018 - Cincinnati, OH

SWON Webinar - Pioneers in Violence Prevention: Libraries & Rape Crisis Centers
FREE for employees of Supporting Member Institutions
$15 for members in our Ohio service area
$20 for everyone else
4/10/2018 - Online

PCI Webinar - The Basics of Project Management
FREE for employees of Supporting Member Institutions
$15 for members in our Ohio service area
$20 for everyone else
4/10/2018 - Online

Booklist Webinar - STEM vs. STEAM: Science and Art in the Classroom
FREE (a Booklist event)
4/10/2018 - Online

Teen Services Special Interest Group (TeenSIG)
SWON SIGs are always FREE
4/11/2018 - Fairfield, OH

Children's Literature Evaluation and Review Interest Group (CLEAR) - Kentucky
$50 per year for employees of Supporting Member Institutions to Join CLEAR
$100 per year for everyone else to Join CLEAR
Free books included with cost!
4/12/2018 - Covington, KY

SWON Executive Board Meeting
4/12/2018 - Cincinnati, OH

YALSA Webinar - Interactions with Teens
FREE (a YALSA event)
4/12/2018 - Online

Infopeople Webinar - Serving Older Adults and Their Care Partners at Your Library
FREE (an Infopeople event)
4/12/2018 - Online

Children's Literature Evaluation and Review Interest Group (CLEAR) - Cincinnati
$50 per year for employees of Supporting Member Institutions to Join CLEAR
$100 per year for everyone else to Join CLEAR
Free books included with cost!
4/13/2018 - Cincinnati, OH


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Save the Date


Take note of these selected events in the coming weeks and months

      Archives * Records 2018 (Society of American Archivists)
8/12/2018 to 8/18/2018 - In-person Washington, DC

2018 ALSC National Institute
9/27/2018 to 9/29/2018 - In-Person Cincinnati, OH

Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association Conference
10/5/2018 to 10/9/2018 - In-person Cleveland,OH

Internet Librarian 2018
10/16/2018 to 10/18/2018 - In-person Monterey, California

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SWON Libraries
10250 Alliance Rd. Suite 112
Blue Ash, OH 45242

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