Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Why you need to be following the news about Sam Pepper, a discussion of the YouTube community and teen culture

Teen culture and celebrity is dominated these days by a force that many adults don’t pay enough attention to: YouTube. YouTube isn’t just a place where Tweens and Teens go to watch the latest music video, it is producing legitimate stars who make a serious amount of cash. YouTube culture is so big that the press has recently began running articles about how it is changing the way that tweens and teens become celebrities and many awards shows are including social media and YouTube awards in their categories. There are entire conferences devoted to YouTube, including VidCon which was created in part by John Green and his brother Hank.

It is also important to note that to date 18 YouTube celebrities have been accused of sexual impropriety, often against their teen fans that they meed at these very conferences. See also, The DFTBA Sexual Abuse Scandal.

Which brings us to Sam Pepper.

Sam Pepper is a UK YouTuber who is known for pulling of a variety of pranks. As pranks often do, they often cross a line that puts others into uncomfortable and sometimes into unsafe positions. Some of Sam Pepper’s previous pranks have included handcuffing girls to him against their will and demanding a kiss in order to be let loose. In another incident he used a rope to lasso girls and pull them into an embrace with him.

Earlier this week on Twitter the hashtag #ReportSamPepper went viral as Sam had posted a video called the Fake Hand Ass Pinch. Basically, he approached girls and as he engaged them in conversation he used his hidden hand to pinch their bum. As many observers correctly pointed out, this is in fact sexual harassment and it is something that many organizations are working tirelessly to end. See Stop Street Harassment for example.

But as the rallying cry went out against Sam Pepper, he produced another video with the notation that it was 2 of 3, although it is interesting to note that the original video included no such notation indicating that it was part of a series. In this video, women did the same thing to men.

[Read more…]

Sunday Reflections: Time to Not Be Nice

I really like Amy Poehler. I like the things that she stands for, and I adore Smart Girls at the Party so much that I’ve used it in programming and recommended it to teachers, parents, and teens. They have DIY projects and action campaigns, they highlight women in fields like science and computers, they have blogs and shows and youtube channels, and other resources for youth (including a boys’ minute)- which is wonderful. According to their site:

Smart Girls at the Party is a rapidly expanding online network and community movement. Our aim is to help young women and the young at heart with the process of cultivating their authentic selves.
We change the world by being ourselves, and being ourselves is a life long quest. Smart Girls hopes to provide some fun reference materials along the way.


 Empower girls! Show them they can be artists, scientists, astronauts, be educated and be liked ….
Which is why when this popped up onto my tumblr, my heart fell to my feet:


The internet doesn’t have to be full of mean comments. Use this badge to let others know you’re part of the goodness!

Just no.

According to webster, friendly also means:

affable, agreeable, approachable, good-natured, good-tempered, gracious, nice, sweet; clubby, convivial, folksy, gregarious, hospitable, sociable, social; jolly, jovial, merry; extroverted (also extraverted), outgoing; brotherly, fraternal, sisterly; close, familiar, intimate; adoring, affectionate, devoted, fond, lovesome, loving, tender, tenderhearted





I completely agree with the factual part. And to an extent I can get behind the intent of the friendly. Don’t lie, don’t spread rumors, don’t slut-shame, don’t verbally or emotionally harass anyone, and don’t bully anyone. There have been too many deaths over online harassment- and I mean actual online harassment, not what some will claim as harassment to get attention.

However.

No. NO.



Girls (and women) do not need to be ‘friendly’ on the internet. We need to be intelligent, coherent, sound, passionate, and LOUD in our voices, our passions, and for our beliefs and for our rights. We need to stand up for the right to control our bodies, no matter whether it is to have children or not, no matter whether it is to have sex or not, and to have the right to choose WHEN and WHERE that encounter is. We need to be able to have the voice to say NO when we don’t want something, no matter if it’s a hug, a glance, someone calling us honey or sweetheart, or even a slice of cheese on a hamburger.

The internet gives people an arena in which to unleash themselves, and also the chance to be the most evil they can possibly be with the slimmest chance they will get caught. It’s all about anonymity, and sometimes the nastier people can be, the better the audience likes it and the more hits things will get. To me, it can be similar to the Roman Gladiator fights- people hiding behind stage names, fighting tooth and nail, but with words that can hurt more than physical blows.

We as a culture need to stand up to internet bullying, and not be “friendly” when people attack.  Google about the death threats that have happened against women on Twitter, slut-shaming, and Facebook attacks that have led to suicide, if you want further evidence. 


“Friendly” has passive connotations, and puts the onus on the me (as a member of the group of girls, in this case) to be the one backing down and taking things without standing up for myself- thereby losing my voice and my options.

No. NO.


There is a time and a place for nice. Someone calling names for the emotional response is one. Someone being an idiot is another. Like Patrick Swayze says in Road House (warning, not work appropriate language ahead):


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTh5JzRziHE?rel=0]


However, there is a time to not be nice. When things cross the line include:

I was the “nice and friendly” girl growing up. I was shy, and part of it was the way I was raised. Even though I couldn’t stand mustard, and onions made me sick, if we went through McDonald’s we got the hamburgers as-made, and I had to try to pick off the onions and grimace and bear the mustard/ketchup goop. We didn’t have much, and what we got had to last and be enjoyed- if you didn’t like it or complained, you didn’t get it, and it was remembered that you didn’t like it, and held against you.  Being “nice and friendly” was essentially a defense against punishment.

Through college I was the “nice and friendly” girl, one of the few in my undergrad class for aeronautical engineering. And I was bullied and harassed, by peers for being overweight, by teachers who said women weren’t needed as astronautical engineers because we didn’t have the smarts, by teaching assistants and professors who wouldn’t help during office hours because I was just going to be married and popping out kids before the ink was dry on my degree. I didn’t speak up, because that wasn’t what “nice and friendly” did- that was what aggressive did. (On the bright side, I ended up in the field I was meant for, but I still have issues dating back to those days).


People’s response when I tell them some of my college stories

I was the “nice and friendly” one in my first few jobs, and was given a lower starting pay than guys who had less experience but were put in the same position I was in, because they spoke up and were aggressive about negotiations. I have been passed over for raises and increases in pay because I was “nice” and didn’t question authority, and when I did, I did it in “friendly” and “polite” ways.


I have been verbally harassed at professional conferences because I was “friendly” and “polite” and “nice.” When I reported it, I was told that since I was “friendly” and didn’t “assert myself but removed myself from the area after a brief time” that the harasser couldn’t understand that their actions were wrong. Somehow, by being “nice” I was in the wrong by not educating my harassers.


I get where Smart Girls is going, but I think they’re going about it the wrong way. We need to stand up to the bullies, not be the friendly ones. We need to be scrappy, and aggressive, feisty, and spunky, and take over THOSE connotations and make THEM the positives that we want to see.

Because friendly isn’t getting us anywhere.


– Christie

See also: It’s time to stop telling girls to be nice 
Should we stop telling girls to be nice?

Friday Finds – July 26, 2013

This week at TLT:

This week’s Sunday Reflections discusses the presence of violence in YA and why it’s important.

We have book reviews of:

Heather and Karen took a group of teens to the Simon Teen Tastemakers Event at ALA and offer ideas for reproducing the event for a teen program at your library.
Karen asked us to talk about the casual perpetuation of street harassment culture.
Karen discusses how YA literature addresses the issue of abortion. And Christie adds some important thoughts on the issue. We also have a list of 5 YA titles that address the topic to some degree, with additional suggestions in the comments.
Robin posted about her experience working with youth who live in poverty. Karen added a list of fantastic titles that depict teens living in poverty.

Commiserate with Heather in the comments section of her post on Program Fails.

Previously on TLT:
We reviewed Timepiece by Myra McEntire and Flesh & Bone by Jonathan Maberry.
Karen wrote about one of the daily realities for teens who live in poverty – going to bed hungry.
Around the web:
There is an important article by Jen Schradie over at The Society Pages on The 7 Myths of the Digital Divide.

You can read an excerpt of The Fall of Five, the next in the I Am Four series by Pittacus Lore at EW. 

There is also a cover reveal and excerpt of Enders, the sequel to Starters by Lissa Price over at EW.

YPULSE has an interesting look at why the show Catfish on MTV matters

What are you guys talking about this week?  Share with us in the comments.

VOYA Magazine released their Teen Pop-Culture Quiz #40.  How well do you know teen pop culture?  Take the quiz.

Because No Always Means No: a list of titles dealing with rape and sexual harassment

April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month. And we had a lot to say about it.  The bottom line, no means no (and silence doesn’t mean yes).  That should be the message – always.  It’s what we need to be teaching all people, both boys and girls, at all ages.  Respecting others is at the heart of ending all violence, including sexual violence.  This type of education begins at birth and continues throughout all of our lives: all people are people and are worthy of respect and safety and to live a life without fear.  I teach my children that they can’t touch others without their consent.  That means any and all touching.  And of course there is always the golden rule; whatever your personal faith may be,  “treat others as you want to be treated” seems like a common sense life principle.  The reciprocal is that others can’t touch them without their consent.  It seems like such an obvious thing, and yet every day people fail at this.  Every day people are assaulted and raped and robbed of their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  It’s not easy to read about it or talk about it, but we have to.  Information – education – is the only way to end sexual violence.  Here are some titles that deal with this subject in various ways.  Read them.  Talk about them.  Develop empathy for the victims.  Speak out against violence and speak up for its victims.

SPEAK – Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary novel has captured the hearts of teenagers and adults across the country.  Author Laurie Halse Anderson is a spokeperson for RAINN, you can read more about it here.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT  – Coleen Clayton   


When Sid finds herself on a ski lift with hunky local college guy, Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled. “Come to a party with me,” he tells her, but Dax isn’t what he seems. He takes everything from Sid-including a lock of her perfect red curls-and she can’t remember any of it.

Caught in a downward spiral, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey–slacker, baker, total dreamboat–Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if only she could shake the nightmares, everything would be perfect…

Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton’s debut is a stunning story of moving on after the unthinkable happens.

THE MOCKINGBIRDS – Daisy Whitney


When Alex wakes up one morning next to a boy from her school, flashes of the night before begin to come to her. She was date raped.  Alex seeks the help of her boarding schools secret justice society – The Mockingbirds – to help get justice for the crime committed against her. Whitney emotionally captures Alex’s journey to seek justice in a world of privilege. Emotionally raw and compelling, this is a great book for discussing the topics of date rape and the concept of justice.

EXPOSED – Kimberley Marcus

In the dim light of the darkroom/I’m alone, but not for long.

As white turns to gray, Kate is with me.

background of the dance studio blurred,

so the focus is all on her–legs extended in a perfect soaring split.

The straight line to my squiggle, my forever-best friend.

Sixteen-year-old Liz is Photogirl—sharp, focused, and confident in what she sees through her camera lens, confident that she and Kate will be best friends forever. But everything changes in one blurry night. Suddenly, Kate is avoiding her and people are looking the other way she passes in the halls. As the aftershocks from a startling accusation rip through Liz’s world, everything she thought she knew about photography, family, friendship, and herself shifts out of focus. What happens when the picture you see no longer makes sense?

LEVERAGE – Joshua C Cohen


Joshua C. Cohen began writing “Leverage” after reading a news account of a horrific attack by a group of high school seniors on their fellow underclassmen. When the victims reluctantly came forward, instead of receiving offers of help, they were ostracized by the surrounding community for sullying the reputation of the school and causing a cancellation of the football season. Joshua’s fascination with that part of human nature–the need to keep quiet when awful things occur and how that leads to victims getting wronged twice–is what started the whole story that eventually led to “Leverage.”

MONSTROUS BEAUTY – Elizabeth Fama


The mermaid Syrenka falls in love with a mortal, a decision that comes with horrific consequences.  In the future, 17-year-old Hester is afraid to fall in love because of a curse that seems to hang over the women in her family.  Although there are mystical elements to this story, there are several disturbing scenes of sexual harassment – and rape – that tie these women together and show what type of treatment many women have had to deal with for centuries.  This beautiful, haunting story led me to write an entire post about the almost casual way some men will harass women and the things that women must endure on a daily basis: What It’s Like for a Girl: How Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama made me think about the politics of sexuality in the life of girls.

RAPE GIRL – Alina Klein

Hey, look. It’s that girl. That rape girl, right?Valerie always wanted to be the smart girl. The pretty girl. The popular girl. But not the rape girl…That’s who she is now. Rape Girl. Because everyone seems to think they know the truth about what happened with Adam that day, and they don’t think Valerie’s telling it.. Before, she had a best friend, a crush, and a close-knit family. After, she has a court case, a support group, and a house full of strangers.. The real truth is, nothing will ever be the same.. Rape Girl is the compelling story of a survivor who does the right thing and suffers for it. It is also the story of a young woman’s struggle to find the strength to fight back.

GOING UNDERGROUND– Susan Vaught

Del’s a good kid, but he became a social outcast when his girlfriend texted him a revealing photo . . . and the police got involved. Now he’s finally met a new girl, but complications threaten to bring his world crashing down again. Will Del be able to overcome his past? This must-read, all-too-believable story features a likeable guy caught in a highly controversial and timely legal scenario.

BREATHING UNDERWATER– Alex Flinn


It was only a slap. Well, maybe more than one. And maybe Nick used his fist at the end when the anger got out of control. But his girlfriend Caitlin deserved it–hadn’t she defied him by singing in the school talent show when he had forbidden her to display herself like that? Even though he’d told her that everybody would laugh at her because she couldn’t sing and was a fat slob? Both were lies. Because Caitlin was so beautiful, the only person who understood him. Out of his desperate need for her came all the mean words and the hitting. But now Caitlin’s family has procured a restraining order to keep Nick away, and the judge has sentenced him to Mario Ortega’s Family Violence class, to sit around every week with six other angry guys who hit their girlfriends. And to write a journal explaining how he got into this mess. In what PW called “a gripping tale,” a 16-year-old, who is considered perfect by his classmates, suffers a turbulent home life with an abusive father, and he himself follows the pattern of violence.

EASY by Tammara Webber

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she’s single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex’s frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night–but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he’s hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.

INEXCUSABLE – Chris Lynch

“I am a good guy. Good guys don’t do bad things. Good guys understand that no means no, and so I could not have done this because I understand.”

Keir Sarafian knows many things about himself. He is a talented football player, a loyal friend, a devoted son and brother. Most of all, he is a good guy.

And yet the love of his life thinks otherwise. Gigi says Keir has done something awful. Something unforgivable.

Keir doesn’t understand. He loves Gigi. He would never do anything to hurt her. So Keir carefully recounts the events leading up to that one fateful night, in order to uncover the truth. Clearly, there has been a mistake.

But what has happened is, indeed, something inexcusable.

THE GOOD BRAIDER– Terry Farrish


Gr 9 Up–The Good Braider follows Viola on a journey from her home in ravaged Sudan to Cairo and finally to the folds of a Sudanese community in Maine. Viola’s story, told in free verse, is difficult to read without a constant lurking sense of both dread and hope. In the opening scene she gazes at the curve of the back of a boy walking the street in front of her, only to view his senseless execution moments later. This tension never completely dissipates, though it takes on different forms throughout her story; by the end it is replaced not by the fear of execution or of the lecherous soldier who forces her to trade herself for her family’s safety, but by the tension of walking the line between her mother’s cultural expectations and the realities of her new country. Yet while Farish so lyrically and poignantly captures Viola’s wrenching experience leaving her home, navigating the waiting game of refugee life, and acculturating into the United States, she’s equally successful in teasing out sweet moments of friendship and universal teenage experiences. Viola’s memorable, affecting voice will go far to help students step outside of their own experience and walk a mile in another’s shoes.

POISON STUDY – Maria V. Snyder  (Fantasy)


Shivers, obsession, sleepless nights—these are the results not of one of the milder poisons that novice food-taster Yelena must learn during her harrowing job training but of newcomer Snyder’s riveting fantasy that unites the intelligent political focus of George R.R. Martin with a subtle yet potent romance. Through a stroke of luck, Yelena escapes execution in exchange for tasting the food of the Commander, ruler of Ixia. Though confined to a dank prison cell and doomed to a painful death, Yelena slowly blooms again, caught up in castle politics. But some people are too impatient to wait for poison to finish off Yelena. With the help of Valek, her steely-nerved, cool-eyed boss and the Commander’s head of security, she soon discovers that she has a starring role to play in Ixia’s future—a role that could lead to her being put to death as a budding magician even if she hits each cue perfectly. Yelena truly has an awful past containing physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, so there are some disturbing flashbacks to that–however, they aren’t gratuitous, and definitely help explain her as a character.

Coming soon:

CANARY – Rachel Alpine  (August 2013)  “almost exactly like the Stuebenville case but basketball”
Kate Franklin’s life changes for the better when her dad lands a job at Beacon Prep, an elite private school with one of the best basketball teams in the state. She begins to date a player on the team and quickly gets caught up in a world of idolatry and entitlement, learning that there are perks to being an athlete.

But those perks also come with a price. Another player takes his power too far and Kate is assaulted at a party. Although she knows she should speak out, her dad’s vehemently against it and so, like a canary sent into a mine to test toxicity levels and protect miners, Kate alone breathes the poisonous secrets to protect her dad and the team. The world that Kate was once welcomed into is now her worst enemy, and she must decide whether to stay silent or expose the corruption, destroying her father’s career and bringing down a town’s heroes.

FORGIVE ME, LEONARDPEACOCK – Matthew Quick 


Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart–obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches. (male rape)
List compiled by the Librarians at YALSA-BK and annotated by Sarah Littman.  It is posted here with Ms. Littman’s permission.


More on Sexual Harrasment and Rape on TLT:
Sexual Assault Awareness Month, talking to teens about consent and rape part 1 and part 2
Also, I talk about Teaching Consent at Campus Progress

Edited to add the title Monstrous Beauty, 5/07/13

Saturday Thoughts: Going Backwards

I really don’t know what to think this week.  I don’t know where we’re going as a society when we can’t hold people accountable for their actions because “they don’t know what they’re doing” or victims are “enticing them with what they’re wearing.” I know that we as a culture are growing less empathetic due to the distance and immediacy caused by the internet, but when you’re told that you’re “too sensitive” because you react to things said to you *online* that someone could be prosecuted for if they were said face-to-face, something is wrong.
All I know is that I can try to help those I work with and those that I care about know what is Right and what is Wrong, and what to DO when faced with situations like these.
Middle School BANS ‘Tight’ Pants on Girls because girls are the problem and boys can’t be responsible for how they act around girls dressed in tight clothing. RIIIIGGGHT. What about teaching people to respect others personal space and not to assault people instead, and holding people responsible for their actions?
according to Marvel and their new T-Shirts:


WARNING- THE FOLLOWING LINKS MAY HAVE GRAPHIC CONTENT AND MAY BE TRIGGERS



Anita Sarkessian during her TED talk about the “harassment” she recieved after her kickstarter campaign about looking at gender in video games went live.

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZAxwsg9J9Q]

And two girls who couldn’t hang on during their “harassment” after their rapes and are no longer with us.

 
 
 
 



 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qplKBKVvH_Y?rel=0]

Things They Don’t Teach You in Library School: Sexual Harassment? Yes, it can happen in the library

In my now almost 20 years as a librarian, I have either directly or indirectly been involved in numerous incidents of people viewing porn on the computer and, more disturbingly, 5 men being caught masturbating in the library.  One of those times occurred in my YA area and the person in question left behind “physical evidence” that required us to remove the chair and store it until the case went to trial.  This happened when I was in my very early twenties.  At that time, there was this guy, around my age, that worked with me and we were pretty decent friends.  Then one day, he jokingly asked me if I wanted to go down into the basement and sit in “that” chair with him.  This made me pretty uncomfortable and forever changed our relationship, but it was years before I spoke to anyone about it.

Many years later, I would tell my mentor and friend that I kind of thought that maybe I was being sexually harassed by him and mentioned the incident and she said yes, that is what that was and she wished that I had come talk to her when it happened.  The thing is, we don’t like to think bad things about people.  And it seems kind of conceited to think that someone would be doing that to you; I mean, I’m nobody special or anything.  But after that incident, I went out of my way to make sure I wasn’t alone with this man. My work environment and experience of work changed.

Fast forward to another time, another library. 

We had a new library director and I was invigorated by all the new energy he brought and the fact that he was finally making some of the changes that I had been wanting to do for years.  Things were happening and it was exciting. But as we all know, not everyone likes change and there was definitely some push back.  So one day, while standing around talking to some employees, a male co-worker looked over me and said something like, “why don’t you just get your head out of the director’s lap.”  Suddenly, the world stopped. You could have heard a pin drop.


This time, I went to a private place and called my friend and mentor and yes, she said, he was in fact saying what I thought he was saying.  Now all I had to do was decide whether or not I would take the situation to the director.  Except that a person involved in the conversation, another man, was so bothered by what happened that he felt he had to go say something.  In the end, I believe a verbal warning was issued.  I got to forever be embarrassed by the way I was treated in front of some of my co-workers. I got to worry about whether or not my passion for my job was being misinterpreted.  I got to walk through the doors and wonder every day what my co-workers thought of me now that this black, inky accusation made out of anger hung in the air.  That incident changed my work environment, it changed how safe I felt at work and it changed the way I interacted with my coworkers at all levels.  It made me second guess who I was, what I did, and how I approached my job.  In short, it sucked.

I have worked with some amazing men in my years at the library.  Some I call friends.  Some I admire for their passion, knowledge and dedication.  But like a lot of women, I have been on the uncomfortable end of sexual innuendo and it can really change the dynamics of a work environment.


A lot of people misinterpret female passion at work as aggressiveness and many people, especially some men, take offense to it.  They hate it even more if that means they lose control or have to make changes.  While take charge men are applauded for their ability to get things done, the same traits in women are viewed radically different.

Part of what keeps much workplace sexual harassment hidden, is that it is in our nature, I believe, to explain it away in our minds.  “Why would someone want to sexually harass me?” you think.  “What makes me so special, so deserving?”  Or we feel like it exhibits a conceitedness on our part to suggest that a man is talking to or approaching us in a way that is suggestive (or vice versa). Except that in a lot of cases, maybe most, it isn’t about desire or beauty or worth, it is about anger and control and wanting to demean; it’s about making sure a woman understands her place in the world and at the work place.  And this applies to all sexual harassment; women can and do sexually harass men.



So here is what I have learned to do:

If something makes you uncomfortable, report it to a supervisor.  It is their job to determine how to handle the situation and help make sure you have a completely safe and healthy work environment.

If there are witnesses, make a note of who they are and pass that information along as well.

I am a firm believer in written documentation.  After you talk to your supervisor, type up an e-mail summarizing what happened, the discussion you just had with your supervisor, and any action points that may be mentioned.  Send a copy to your supervisor and keep one for yourself.  Print it out.  Should the incident need further investigation or the behavior continue, you now have a paper trail.  Don’t whitewash your documentation, use exact words and phrases to document as clearly as possible the picture of what happened.

It is sad to say, but watch for retaliation and malicious gossip.  Report and document every single thing that happens.

Ask your library to have someone come in and do staff training.  Make sure your library’s policy is clear and direct on what constitutes harassment, what to do in the event that it happens, and what the library’s response will be.

Know that despite the library’s policy, or lack thereof should that be the case, there are laws in place to protect you.

Keep in mind, sexual harassment can also come from patrons.  In this event, you should follow all the same guidelines as above.  And your library policy should also discuss this type of harassment.

The bottom line: Sexual harassment is wrong.  The library should be a safe place for every employee that walks through its doors.   We are all working towards the same goals, are all part of the same team, so everyone should be treated with professionalism and respect.

Disclaimer: This post is meant to talk generally about the issue of sexual harassment and is not intended to serve as a foundation for policy nor is it in any way a discussion of the legal issues. I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.