Training Scenarios for Public Libraries

You have been trying to help a class of 9th graders writing reports on white supremacist groups, but every website they try to access is blocked. The current policy doesn’t allow the filter to be turned off for any reason. Should the policy be reconsidered? Do you unblock the filter?

A parent asks to see a list of all the books that his child has checked out from the library. When you check the child’s account, you see that the child checked out a book about alcoholic parents. What should you do?

Your library is setting up a new web browser reservation system and it has the option to record the date & time that each user logs in. Should this be turned on in case the library needs to track suspicious activity? Should the library also enable the option that records all the sites visited by a patron?

A woman calls the library to complain about an R rated movie that her 16-year-old daughter checked out. She wants to know why the policy allows children to check out all movies. Should there be restrictions based on ratings?

A parent has complained about the Twilight books for promoting witchcraft, magic, and underage sex. The director, who hasn’t read the books, ignores the stated policy for challenges and moves the books to her office. What do you do?

A detective from the city police department shows her badge and says she’s investigating the recent rash of burglaries in the area. She’d like a list of anyone who checked out books on locksmithing or otherwise asked for help researching this topic. What do you do?

A local church group asks to reserve the community room for a program on the Biblical path to prosperity. Is this allowed?

-from the Colorado Association of Libraries