Re: Mixed bag for henna class at library- advice please?

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Posted by Kelly M. on August 16, 2002 at 14:25:10:

In reply to: Mixed bag for henna class at library- advice please? posted by Lauren on August 16, 2002 at 13:35:22:

Welcome to that which is the public library system. I thought you
were describing the library I work at for a minute there.

I think that the best thing is to seriously sit down with the
programs director, the person who was your contact at the library to
set up the program etc. Ask them what your limits are as far as
keeping control of a group. Make them understand that you will throw
people out of the program if they are out of control. Ask if they
have a security guard that could check in on the room too. Even if
there is some sort of library employee present sometimes they're not
a librarian but a page or a clerk who don't have the authority to
throw people out but will just threaten. Unfortunately, we're public
buildings and a lot of libraries, mine included, are afraid to throw
people out. We've thrown misbehaving teenagers out of our library
only to walk out to slashed tires and keyed cars at the end of the

Also what's important is limits. Many libraries require patrons to
sign-up for programs. Make sure that your program is one of them!
Make sure that they only sign up a limited number of people that you
know you can control. To limit the "Children of the Corn" types as I
call them, see if you can have a "materials" fee. If they have to pay
five or ten dollars at sign-up, you won't get as many wack jobs. The
materials fee is also a way to make sure that all who sign up show

And I would NOT hand out original materials like books because they
could easily disappear on you. I'd make photocopies of the cover and
some of the pages, this is also a good way to filter out the boob
pictures :) Collect the photocopied booklets at the end of the

I hope all this helps. This is just from my own experience. I've
worked in libraries all of my life basically. I've been asked by the
programs librarian here if I'd like to do a henna program but I've
declined basically because 1) I have no idea what I'd teach them and
2) I'm afraid of the situation that you encountered -- insane wanna-
be-gansta kids making trouble because I know that in my library our
security guard is totally useless.


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