Who’s at the wheel?

nighthawk309 —  April 26, 2013 — 1 Comment

(David Coates/The Detroit News)

The Detroit News reported this week that a person was murdered in a hotel while a mannequin was in a truck marked “security” in the hotel’s parking lot.  The headline read “Woman killed at Detroit hotel guarded by mannequin identified.” See the article here. What in the world does this have to do with library leadership? Read on.

Hotel management was trying to project an illusion of safety and preparedness.  A mannequin sitting in a truck was supposed to tell people the place was being watched and therefore secure.  It may have done the trick on some days, but when it really mattered, it wasn’t enough.

Is your library truly prepared?   Planning for a full range of scenarios is essential in library management.  Necessary plans range from sound budgets to comprehensive policies to strategic plans to emergency preparedness and beyond.

Are your plans thorough and complete?  Document, document, document.  Write down your plans and make them readily accessible.  Get input from staff at all levels to make sure your bases are covered.  Attack your plans from a variety of perspectives to make sure they’ll hold up when needed.

Do you have the right people in the right place?  People are key to making plans happen.  Get your staff prepared, make sure you have the right people where you need them and make sure everyone is on the same page.

If you identify a need–like security–do it right so you’re ready when it matters (hint: a mannequin won’t cut it).



Matt Church is the library director at the Berkley Public Library (Berkley, MI). He was previously associate director at the Baldwin Public Library (Birmingham, MI). He's all about libraries, Tom Waits, coffee, trekking and family adventures.

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  1. Found: April 22 – 26, 2013 | Library Lost & Found - April 27, 2013

    […] We prepared. […]

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