A Trauma-Informed Framework for Supporting Patrons: The PLA Workbook of Best Practices

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Offering practical guidance and support, this workbook will spark curiosity and reflection on how everyday library interactions intersect with trauma and adversity.  

Whether it’s navigating a crisis or witnessing a community member struggling with tough times, coming face to face with trauma and adversity can be uncomfortable. But in striving to learn more about challenging behaviors, and how we can better interact with library patrons and our coworkers, we can come to see that people are complex and not simply “problems.” This workbook from the PLA Social Worker Task Force (SWTF) provides a collection of powerful tools to add to your customer service toolbox. It’s filled with prompts, exercises, and best practices that shed light on how trauma can affect people, helping you build confidence in your ability to support your library’s patrons. You will

  • delve into what trauma is and how it impacts library work; 
  • be introduced to a framework for utilizing a trauma-informed lens in your interactions; 
  • practice exercises to spur personal reflection on common concerns bound up with library work and the policies relating to these issues; and 
  • gain hand-on tools and techniques, including strategies for de-escalation and guidance on the impacts of involving law-enforcement and banning patrons.

You will also explore various scenarios which provide the opportunity to integrate what you’ve learned and practice responding through a trauma-informed lens, including 

  • Mental Health Challenges
  • Sleeping at the Library
  • Strong Personal Odor
  • Personal Belongings
  • Suspected Intoxication/Under the Influence
  • Substance Use
  • Threatening Verbal and Nonverbal Behavior
  • Unsheltered Teens
  • Adult Self-Neglect
  • Child Abuse or Assault
  • Solicitation or Panhandling
  • Stealing
  • Child Unattended After Closing

Imprint: ALA Editions

Published: 2022

Pages: 112

Sku: 9780838949566

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