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Person in Charge Training Program

Jefferson County Public Library

Innovation Leader: Pam Nissler, Director of Library Programs and Services, Pam.Nissler@jeffcolibrary.org

Problem Statement

When managers and unit heads are out of the building, at meetings, on vacation, etc., how do we ensure that someone is always available to immediately handle situations involving the building, patrons, and staff?

Innovation

Jefferson County Public Library (JCPL) implemented a Person in Charge training class and began training staff to serve as the Person in Charge. Serving as Person in Charge (PIC) is part of the job responsibilities of library managers, unit heads and librarians. The class provides tools to help staff be more comfortable and effective as PIC, including:
  • Reviewing JCPL policies and procedures
  • Explaining JCPL’s expectations of PICs
  • Gathering as a group to hear from Senior Management Team members
  • Handling emergencies (building and behavioral)
  • Documenting issues and incidents
  • Providing group discussion exercises

The Library also established a network of support systems to ensure the program’s success. Support systems include the following online resources: Policy Manual, Emergency Manual, Incident Report, Accident Report, Building Maintenance Request, and Computer Support Request.

Progress

By ensuring JCPL’s libraries are always staffed with a Person in Charge, we have improved the safety of staff and patrons, provided for more effective handling of challenging situations, and enabled systemwide tracking of incidents and accidents.  Altogether, having a Person in Charge and the relevant support systems has made our libraries safer, with more satisfied patrons and more confident staff.