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Alerting Staff To Incidents

The goal of the following procedures is to assure that incidents are reported to authorities quickly, that consistent authorities determine what to relay to library staff, and that any reports back to all staff are prompt and accurate.

Staff has the right and responsibility to call 911 immediately in a threatening or potentially harmful situation. In such events, staff should ALSO contact the Libraries' Associate Dean for Public Services (x5-9251) or in his/her absence the Assistant Dean of Administrative Services (x5-9279). Either will take the initiative to contact the UM Department of Public Safety (UMDPS) about an incident and/or to proceed directly to alert all staff to certain incidents if he/she regards an incident as warranting such quick notice. On nights and weekends the Associate Dean for Public Services or the Assistant Dean of Administrative Services should be contacted at home when a situation is violent or dangerous. Staff should call 911 (or #3333 if using a cell phone) prior to initiating such calls. The phone numbers can be located in LIBI:   Emergency Telephone Numbers.

Library staff calling police about incidents should follow up with the library liaison in the UMDPS. The employee should enter information about the incident and fill out the incident report form.

Anytime UM Police are called to the Libraries, officers in the UMDPS file internal reports on incidents they investigate pertaining to a crime against person or property, suspicious behavior or other activity. The UMDPS does not do public, campus-wide crime alerts for all incidents.

The UMDPS contacts the Libraries' Associate Dean for Public Services about incidents for which the Libraries should be notified regardless of whether there is a campus-wide alert. In the absence of the Public Services Associate Dean, the contact will be the Assistant Dean of Administrative Services. Either will determine as soon as possible whether an alert needs to be sent to library staff and what the content should be. The alert within the Libraries will then be sent promptly.

Guideline for Use of Online Incident Report Form

The online incident report form is an additional internal tool for library staff in dealing with serious safety and security situations and will help us identify incident patterns across our facilities. As noted on the form itself, the form will typically be used to report incidents where police response is required. Those incidents include assault, harassment or lewd or other sustained disruptive behavior, theft of substantial personal property such as a cell phone or laptop or wallet. The form does not need to be used for minor incidents "as a rule" involving infractions like food and drink in a library, sleeping, loud talking or other nuisance behavior that is changed on request or instruction of library staff.

When the online incident report form is submitted, it will automatically go to an email reflector containing the addresses for the library facilities personnel in McKeldin and Hornbake, the Associate  Dean for Public Services and the Assistant Dean of Administrative Services, the managers of Information and Access Services in McKeldin, the managers of Marylandia and Archives & Manuscripts, and the branch managers.

The individual filing the online form should still alert by telephone the Public Services Associate Dean (or, in his absence, the ASD Director) of incidents especially, in cases involving assault, harassment, lewd or other sustained disruptive behaviors. It is likeliest that public services personnel will have occasion to use this form. However, any library employee who encounters, witnesses or is directly involved in an incident of the seriousness indicated above, should fill out and submit the form.

Guidelines for Recipients of Form

Recipients of the incident report form must guard personal information and confidentiality of the individuals involved in incidents, unless said individual can be or has been clearly identified by police and has acted in such a fashion that there is urgent reason to inform staff so that library employees can be alert or take appropriate actions.

The Public Services Associate Dean will take the lead in determining if all library sites and staff need to be alerted to an incident. If there is a question, or if there is a need to know if similar behavior has occurred in more than one site, the director may query the email reflector mentioned above. Any member of the reflector may initiate a discussion or respond to another member, to help determine who needs to know about the incident and why.

It is likely that all sites and staff will be alerted if there is an instance involving someone who has been barred from campus or from the libraries.

The Public Services office will regularly check police reports and compare them to the library incident report forms, to gauge matches, similar/same information, percentage of police reports to library incident reports, and other data to help guide and adjust use of the library incident report form over time.

An archive of the incident report forms will be maintained.