Managing Disruptive Patron Behavior in Law Libraries: A Grey Paper

99 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2015

See all articles by Nicole Dyszlewski

Nicole Dyszlewski

Roger Williams University - School of Law

Kristen Moore

Stetson University - College of Law

Genevieve Tung

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers Law School

Date Written: February 2015

Abstract

Nearly all law library staff have encountered, and likely will encounter, some measure of challenging patron behavior. This white paper, dubbed by the authors a "grey paper" as it attempts to analyze and contend with a fundamentally dynamic phenomenon, was written at the request of the AALL RIPS-SIS Executive Board with the hope of providing a jumping off point for further inquiry and discussion on current best practices in managing difficult, challenging or disruptive patron behavior in law libraries. In lieu of a traditional white paper solution, the authors have included a collection of best practices largely developed based on common themes which emerged from a 2014 online survey of law library staff; follow-up correspondence with several survey respondents; and a review of case law and relevant literature within law librarianship and other fields. The solutions to the problems of disruptive patron interactions can most nearly be found by providing a library atmosphere of safety for patrons and staff; equality in the staff treatment of all library patrons; consistency and predictability in staff responses accomplished by flexibility not rigidity; and communication and transparency of both policies and service limitations. This paper provides practical strategies for attaining that ideal.

Suggested Citation

Dyszlewski, Nicole and Moore, Kristen and Tung, Genevieve, Managing Disruptive Patron Behavior in Law Libraries: A Grey Paper (February 2015). Stetson University College of Law Research Paper No. 2015-9; Roger Williams Univ. Legal Studies Paper No. 162. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2616264 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2616264

Nicole Dyszlewski

Roger Williams University - School of Law ( email )

10 Metacom Avenue
Bristol, RI 02809
United States

Kristen Moore

Stetson University - College of Law ( email )

1401 61st Street South
Gulfport, FL 33707
United States

Genevieve Tung (Contact Author)

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers Law School ( email )

Newark, NJ
United States
856-225-6970 (Phone)

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