LOSA lead attorney Stephanie ("Cole") Adams travelled to Rochester with Buffalo business consultant Nicola Medley Ballard to a conduct a role-play and discussion based training: "Checking out Respect: Recognizing, Addressing and Preventing Harassment in your Library."
"Librarians work with a huge array of material, interact with people from all walks of life, and work to ensure information is accessible to all," says Cole. "This mission can lead to interactions of enormous enlightenment...but can also create circumstances where ignorance or misunderstanding can leave staff or patrons feeling they were treated unfairly."
The training addressed not only race and gender, but gender expression, national origin, age, religion, ability, and other forms of illegal discrimination. Attendees left with a checklist of tips and techniques they saw in action during the session.
"'Checking Out Respect' takes library staff beyond the legal definitions, and into the skills for addressing behavior that is alienating or abusive," says Cole. "Our main message is: lead by example. To help people do that, I am lucky to be co-presenting with Nicola Ballard, who has so much experience showing people how to be gracious and to cultivate a diverse environment."
The LOSA offers these type of highly customized to the professionals they serve. If your library is interested, or you're in another professional arena where this approach might be helpful, feel free to get in touch!