Library staff need to be aware of the difference between common, healthy behaviors and destructive ones, and must react appropriately in order to maintain both library safety and a good relationship with area YA - library user and non-user alike. Common sense and a calm demeanor can resolve many issues, but above all, staff must follow library policy and there are of course definite areas where law enforcement response is necessary.
Most YA behaviors are perfectly normal and do not pose a threat to staff or other library users. These include:
Behaviors like these have reasonable explanations.
Uncommon behaviors that are detrimental and dangerous to both the YA and others include:
While smoking is an issue that can be handled through policy enforcement and verbal warning, the next two issues, depending upon the degree of severity may require calling the authorities. Incidents of violence, drug use, or any other illegal activity on library premises must be reported to law enforcement immediately.
Patrick Jones provides library staff with 5 Rs to remember when serving YAs.
Remember, any response to young adult behavior must be equal to that for adult (all) patrons.
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