Ready for Anything:
Challenging Behavior Training for Libraries

Virtually all librarians encounter disruptive behaviors but a recent survey showed almost half have no plan to address them.  Acting on gut feelings compromises their impartiality, risks safety, and leaves them feeling awkward and uncomfortable when they intervene. 

Your staff can use the Ready for Anything online training program for a group training and access it 24/7 as an on-demand resource throughout the year.  82% of librarians who participated in MH Mediate’s Ready for Anything program for libraries said it would help them plan for challenging behaviors. They also said:

  • “I am very excited to implement the behavior planning worksheet for common issues at my library. ”  

  • “It was a clear set of steps and I am going to share them at my branch. I can actually start using them today. I could have easily listened to an all day presentation from Mr. Berstein.”

  • “Dan’s powerful and practical program left everyone with strategies for handling challenging interactions with customers who face a variety of challenges in a library setting.”


Behaviors Included

  • Upsetting Complaints
  • Hygiene Problems
  • Offensive Language
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Threats
  • Verbal Abuse
  • Personal Questions
  • Microaggressions
  • Mental Illness Situations
  • Policy Violations
  • Loud Outbursts
  • Inappropriate Behaviors
  • Communication Clashes
  • Offensive Jokes
  • Micromanagement
  • Discriminatory Bias
  • And More

The biggest source of bias and discomfort is confusion when to act.  Ready for Anything teaches staff to develop a clear prompt to act in all of these situations.  In addition to these examples, the planning framework will also help employees operationalize your policies and lessons from other training programs.  


Introductory Video

This is a replay of the introduction to a custom program with a major city library.  It highlights a planning framework to help with challenging behaviors:


To learn more about getting this full program for your staff, please e-mail or fill out the form below:

About Dan Berstein, Trainer

Dan Berstein is a mediator living with bipolar disorder.  He is Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution, founder of the Dispute Resolution in Mental Health Initiative of the CUNY Dispute Resolution Center, and founder of MH Mediate.  He has degrees from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

MH Mediate uses conflict resolution best practices to help organizations talk about mental health, address challenging behaviors, and become accessible to people with disabilities and other needs.  Clients include libraries, universities, workplaces, and government agencies at the city, state, and federal levels. 

MH Mediate’s challenging behavior programs were developed using proprietary surveys, academic literature reviews, and pilot testing in ten states.

To learn more about Dan’s work, watch his TEDxTalk below:


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