Ferrell and Problem Patrons


I have to say that problem patrons are something I know that I must expect when dealing with the public so closely. I really liked how Ms. Ferrel define what a problem patron is. This patron possess ‘undesired characteristics’ and this could be homeless people, criminals, or just unattended children (pg. 142). I have decided in a career in the public library and so I have to come to expect I will be dealing with this crowd. However, I like the idea of shifting the thoughts into thinking not about the people, but the behavior. This is because when we are thinking about the people, we are actually thinking about how they are behaving. It may not necessarily be the person that is offending the others around, it is how they are acting. Then taking this focus, we can then try to solve and bring in expectations on how we can resolve the disturbance and prevent them in way all patrons can understand. I really agree that these behaviors just go outside our comfortable norms and expectations and so in order to solve these ‘problem’ behaviors we might need to step outside of this comfortability. Yes, I agree that upholding rounded policies and providing a good foundation is a good start in solving this problem behavior. But as a final thought, I feel that we, as librarians, can come to understand that problems arise from behavior and not just the person, but the other patrons may not be able to be as accepting or understanding. I feel that we can only solve the problem at our level, but have to understand that we will probably still have complaints and issues of irritated patrons from the behavior that has gone outside of their comfortable norm.


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