Saturday, May 6, 2017

Libraries as a No Hit Zone

Post by Leah Langby

As many of you may remember from a blog post late last year, the LaCrosse Public Library has recently been working with Gunderson Health, a major healthcare provider in their area, to promote public places as No Hit Zones.  I was very intrigued with this idea, and happy to attend a session about it.  Dana Johnson and Dawn Wacek discussed the concept of the No Hit Zone: making it clear that hitting of any kind is not tolerated in the library, and stepping in with assistance before situations escalate to the point of violence.  They talked about the way they have discussed this branding change with library staff and patrons—particularly those who believe that corporal punishment is an effective and important discipline tool.  Pro-tip:  you probably won’t change anyone’s opinion about the merits of corporal punishment in one conversation, but you can make a strong case for having behavior standards for your public space.  Finally, they discussed ways that the No Hit Zone is like The Wakanheza Project, which emphasizes the challenges of parenting in public, and empowers staff to step in to support parents or others in the moment to diffuse situations that may otherwise escalate.

There are lots of resources available on the No Hit Zone website.  And if you are intrigued by The Wakanheza Project, contact your library system, because there are probably people in your area who are willing to share resources and ideas about it, based on a train-the-trainer session held five or six years ago.

Check out other WAPL youth program reports from the April 27-28 conference (links will be highlighted when published):
Stop here at the WAPL conference website for all the session handouts and slidedecks.

1 comment:

Kids_First said...
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