Building Partnerships by Infusing Kindness: A Social Worker and Librarian's Shared Journey to Meaningful Cross-Discipline Collaboration
In this column, the authors will examine an innovative approach to library employee training, as well as reflect on their shared experience through the planning, implementing, and revising process. They will articulate the steps taken in development of a training model that uses a social work simulation lab to provide library employees with the opportunity to practice de-escalation techniques instantaneously with actors demonstrating a spectrum of authentic patron interactions, and experienced professionals, spanning librarianship and social work, providing immediate constructive feedback. To this end, the authors will contribute contemplative best practices for application of techniques relevant across the library discipline, as well as offering evidence of the strategies discussed informing progressive modifications to library-specific safety policies and procedures. The authors will also integrate suggested next steps, including complementary training opportunities based on mental health awareness and self-care.