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, contact us.
In Defend Yourself’s 4-hour Safer Libraries workshop, staff learn the following skills:
- Avoidance and prevention
- Assertiveness, direct communication, and boundary-setting
- 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.