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Library Safety and Security ( 1.801 )

Title:                           1.801 LIBRARY SAFETY AND SECURITY
Code:                         1 Administration Services
Chapter:                    1.800 Safety
Type of Policy:            Departmental
Date Developed:        1 May 1983
Date Revised: 7 July 2004, 5 May 2006, 18 July 2006, 19 April 2011
Revised by: Beth Farley and Pam Kiesner
Developed by:           Claudia McCain
Approved by:             Library Board of Trustees

Codes and lawsRCW 27.12.210 Library trustees – Organization – Bylaws – Powers and duties.


This policy applies to all Library staff.


Accident/Hazard report forms: When there is an accident or injury involving a library patron or a safety concern reported by a patron, staff uses the Library Patron Accident/Safety Concern form. When there is an on-the-job accident or injury that involves library staff or library staff want to report a hazard, staff uses the City of Bellingham Safety Program Accident-Hazard form.
Incident database: An online database of incidents involving problem behavior of patrons in the library.  Database also includes accidents or hazards involving patrons.  Accidents or hazards involving staff are kept separately.  This database is for internal use unless authorized by the Library Director to be shared outside the Library.
Safety: The condition of being safe, free from danger, or risk of injury while working in library buildings. Safety practices concern how employees interact with their physical environment.
Security: The condition of being secure from danger, risk, or injury while working with library patrons. Security practices concern how employees interact       with other people in the library.


  1. Library strives to provide a safe and secure environment for its employees and patrons.

To create a safe and secure environment, the Library:

  • creates safety and security procedures and trains employees in their use;
  • shares and tracks safety and security incidents through the use of the library incident database and activities of the Library Safety and Secuirty Committee;
  • complies with the City of Bellingham safety and security policies and programs as well as all applicable federal, state and local health and safety regulations; and,
  • employs Library Security and Information Attendants.
  1. Library cooperates with and benefits from City Departments who provide safety and security services.

Facilities Department:

  • maintains library buildings for safe operation; and
  • provides routine security checks and assists with closing when needed.

Police Department

  • provides library “walk through” visits during open hours;
  • responds to 911 incident calls; and,
  • assists in library employee safety training.

Fire Department

  • inspects alarm systems;
  • responds to 911 incident calls; and,
  • assists in library employee safety training.

Benefits and Safety Department

  • conducts City Central Safety meeting for City Department representatives; the Library has a representative on this committee; and,
  • provides assistance in resolving hazardous conditions and accidents involving library staff or patron.
  1. All library employees are responsible for helping to maintain a safe and secure work environment.

Library employees:

  • work together to foster a safe work environment and a safety-conscious work culture:
  • observe all library saety practices and procedures, including the Library Rules of Conduct (4.101) and accompanying procedures (4.101.100s) as well as the Building Security Policy (1.802) and accompanying procedures (1.802.100s);
  • report unsafe situations or conditions to their supervisor, discuss general safety issues and concerns to their supervisor, and submit an Accident/Hazard form or Incident Report when appropriate; and,
  • cooperate in incident investigations.

Library employees who are Security and Information Attendants

  • respond to security or emergency situations directly or by contacting appropriate staff, law enforcement, or other emergency personnel as necessary;
  • explain and enforce the Library Rules of Conduct and policies to maintain appropriate patron behavior;
  • patrol library buildings and properties to prevent theft and vandalism; and,
  • represent the Library at City Central Safety Committee meetings.

Library employees who are Supervisors:

  • promptly train and educate new employees on Library safety practices and procedures;
  • ensure selected staff receive CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation), First Aid, and AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) training and maintain their currency as required by State law;
  • investigate every accident, injury, or reported hazard and determine corrective measures; and,
  • ensure promt incident debriefing after traumatic incidents.
  1. Library management staff has special responsibilities regarding safe work practices.

Administration staff:

  • ensures the development, implementation, and maintenance of an appropriate safety program in the Library in accordance with City safety policies;
  • ensures supervisors and employees receive appropriate training and education in methods necessary for safe work;
  • ensures supervisors’ prompt investigation of accidents, injuries, hazards, or security concerns;
  • establishes and oversees the Library Saety and Security Committee;
  • establishes safety guidelines for volunteers; and,
  • conducts prompt debriefing after traumatic incidents.
  1. Library Safety and Security Committee provides support in maintaining a safe and secure library work environment.

The Library Safety and Security Committee is etablished by the Library Director. Membership of the Committee consists of a least three employees from different departments and/or physical areas of the library, on Security and Information Attendant, and one member of Administration. Meetings are held as needed.

Committee members:

  • modify or create new library safety procedures and recomment policy changes as needed;
  • maintain safety supplies and the currency of emergency flip charts;
  • arrange or conduct education and training programs for staff;
  • maintain safety bulletin boards and keep records of all Safety Committee meetings and training programs.
  • review all Accident/Hazard report;
  • may investigate accidents, injuries, or hazards and recommend corrective measures;
  • send a representative to the City Central Safety Committee meetings; and,
  • send a representative to monthly All Staff meetings to provide Safety and Security updates for library staff.

6. Library Board reviews this policy.

  • This policy is periodically reviewed, revised, or reaffirmed by the Library Board of Trustees.