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

A Trauma-Informed Framework for Supporting Patrons: The PLA Workbook of Best Practices By The Public Library Association Social Worker Task Force Cover Image


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

About the Author

The Public Library Association Social Worker Task Force develops and recommends a strategic and coordinated approach for PLA related to how public libraries address the social service needs of customers.

Praise For…

”Advice is clear and practical. Situations range from mental health issues and child abuse to substance use and stealing. The final section focuses on library staff self care, noting that there are no easy answers or pat solutions—but that the work is important ... This workbook offers a timely, useful guide to get staff in all kinds of libraries started in using a trauma-informed approach to deal with challenging behaviors.”
— Booklist
Product Details
ISBN: 9780838949566
ISBN-10: 0838949568
Publisher: ALA Editions
Publication Date: March 7th, 2022
Pages: 112
Language: English