Safer Libraries

Group of women flexing their arms to show their strength

Libraries and their employees face challenges in handling difficult or threatening situations while providing good service to their communities. Defend Yourself helps libraries address these challenges with two trainings: a comprehensive training that covers de-escalation, active bystander skills, boundary setting, and empowerment self-defense; and a shorter training focused on de-escalation for the pandemic.

The trainings help:

  • Promote a safe and respectful workplace for all staff,
  • Maintain good, productive relationships with patrons,
  • Create a shared toolbox of skills for dealing with difficult patrons and any harassment among staff,
  • Build relationships in which staff can rely on each other for help in dealing with harassment and other stressful situations, and
  • Address organizational challenges around safety, including communication and building design.

All of our workshops are experiential, trauma-informed, and tailored to the needs of the group. Defend Yourself works in partnership with the D.C. Public Library system, and has trained every one of its public-facing staff in assertiveness, de-escalation, and bystander intervention. For more information or to set up a training, use the contact form below. 

Safer Libraries

In Defend Yourself’s 4-hour Safer Libraries workshop, staff learn the following skills:

  • Avoidance and prevention
  • Assertiveness, direct communication, and boundary-setting
  • De-escalation
  • Bystander intervention
  • Physical self-defense (basic strikes are included in this workshop as a movement break, to build confidence, and to provide physical self-defense skills as a last resort.)

The training is 4 hours long (two, 2-hour sessions).

De-escalation training for library workers during the pandemic

The pandemic has brought with it a surge in the number of people giving public-facing workers a hard time. As libraries begin to open up with new rules and restrictions, some patrons are taking out their fear and anger on staff. In this training, participants learn de-escalation skills for dealing with people who are angry, escalated, stressed out, or refuse to wear a mask or follow other policies.

In the training, staff learn:

  • When to de-escalate
  • 5 steps to effectively de-escalate
  • The assertive alternative
  • Working with the fight-flight-freeze response
  • Organizational strategies
  • And more!

The training is 2 hours long.

Contact us today!

Fill out the contact form below to book a training for your library with the Defend Yourself team.

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