Discusses some of the issues surrounding violence in the library workplace, analysing violent behaviour in libraries and the various types of “problem users” public library staff may encounter. Discusses the results of a mail survey of public library staff. Staff from four public library authorities were surveyed, to explore the extent to which violent and aggressive behaviour by library users is a recognized problem in public libraries. The results indicate that public libraries suffer from a wide range of “problem users”. Serious incidents which involve physical assault are rare, although verbal abuse is widespread and is generally tolerated by staff who regard it as “part of the job”. Outlines possible preventive measures to reduce the problem and improve the working environment with a particular emphasis on training and customer care initiatives.
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