If you think the term library risk management is an oxymoron, then it has probably been a while since you last visited your local branch. Gone are the days of musty-smelling buildings filled with old books, managed by a prim old woman shushing the voices of patrons. Modern libraries are community hubs where people young and old come for information in every conceivable format. Any public place with this much activity needs protection, and consequently a risk management plan.
What could go wrong at a library? Consider the following:
- Natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, and tornadoes
- Pests like bedbugs, lice, or termites
- Unlawful activity including the use of weapons or drugs
- Unruly patrons, for example, those who act disruptively, stalk employees or steal from the library
- Unanticipated closures due to power outages, disease outbreaks, or threats of violence
- Accidents causing injury to patrons
- Lawsuits against library staff
Don’t get caught by surprise when an unfortunate incident occurs. Hope for the best, but be prepared and have a plan in place should you ever need to react to one of the above situations. Of course, as the experts at Regan Insurance Agency point out, not every threat is substantial enough to warrant action. Thus, thresholds must be set so that everyone understands when to act.