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Safety Tips for Library Staff and Patrons


In the Libraries
  • Have a personal safety plan and be prepared to use it. Know the Wayne State Police are always available by dialing 577-2222 (7-2222 from campus phones). Use this number (not 911) for any police, fire or medical emergency situation. Personal safety, on the job or at home, is your responsibility.
  • Arrive and leave during normal library hours. Individual schedules vary, but there is safety in numbers. If possible, avoid working at times when you are alone in your office or in your building.
  • If you feel uncomfortable getting on the elevator with someone, don't get on. There are safety alarms in all elevators if needed.
  • Use the buddy system as much as possible and use walkie-talkies as needed. Be aware of your surroundings in all locations. Trust your instincts!
  • Always keep your keys with you or in a secure place. Library keys are entrusted to you and are your responsibility. Lost or stolen keys can decrease security both for you and your co-workers.
  • If you work alone in an office, make sure you lock your door or desk even if you run out for a quick cup of coffee or to use the copy machine. Office larcenies (thefts) are not uncommon, can take only seconds to occur.
  • Be aware of any suspicious persons roaming your work area. If someone enters your work area, immediately ask them what they are doing or who they are looking for. Ask them firmly, yet professionally, if you can be of any assistance.
  • Be observant. Make sure that you are aware of your environment. Familiarize yourself with library buildings. Be familiar with building floor plans, building maps and locations of campus phones on each floor.
  • Use judgment in assessing safety situations. Staff all have work that must be accomplished, but no one expects you to place yourself in an unsafe situation in order to do it. If you feel uncomfortable going into a particular location, do not do so. Discuss the situation with your supervisor for suggestions and solutions.
On Campus
  • Become "Street Smart". It is not an instinct. It is COMMON SENSE. When you feel uneasy about a person or situation be prepared to react, but try to avoid confrontation.
  • If something seems strange call 7-2222 to report suspicious persons or activity. Trust your instincts.
  • Minimize the amount of time spent in isolated areas of campus. When traveling through campus: Know the route to your destination, including library buildings. When you are lost, you naturally feel vulnerable. Locate and memorize the locations of the Blue Light Emergency Phones along your campus route.
  • Stay away from isolated ATM locations. The best time to get your money is in the morning. Plan ahead so you can avoid having to use an ATM at odd hours. Use the same caution with OneCard or isolated vending machine locations.
  • At closing, library staff should leave as a group. When possible, walk to your cars in groups. There is safety in numbers. Make an effort to walk in well-lit, populated areas.
  • Walk with purpose and attitude. Display confidence. Be constantly mindful of who is around you.
  • Do not feel bullied by people who look you in the eye. Look them in the eyes. Eye contact makes everyone somewhat uneasy. Use that to your advantage.
  • Do not let your purse bounce loosely over your shoulder and off your hip, as you walk. Carry it tucked under your arm, with any flaps facing your body.
  • Have your keys ready as you approach your car or office.
  • Park your car in well-lit areas where there is a high volume of traffic.
  • Always inspect your vehicle before entering. As you approach the vehicle from a distance, remember to look beneath and inside it in case any predator is laying in wait.
  • Never leave property unattended in any campus building or in your car. Theft is common on any campus. However, it can be avoided if you are constantly mindful of your property.
  • Always know where you can find help. Become comfortable in your surroundings, but do not become lax in your approach to personal safety.