Principles of Safer Space in the Library

Together, we strive to make the library a safe environment where everyone, patrons, and staff alike, can feel comfortable and respected.

The word “safer” is used in the context of principles of safer space because the feeling of safety is always a subjective experience. By acting in accordance with the principles of safer space, we aim to increase the sense of physical, mental, and social safety.

Everyone is responsible for following the principles of safer space. Let’s work together to ensure that the library is a safe, pleasant, and natural place for everyone to learn, study, rest, or relax.

We avoid assumptions

With our activities and choices of words, we actively seek to avoid making assumptions on other people’s life situation, identity, health, background, skills, gender, or anything else. Everybody defines themselves and their own experience.

We act respectfully and openly

We respect another person’s integrity and privacy, both physically and verbally. We create together a positive atmosphere encouraging learning and working; there are no right or wrong questions. It is important to respect another person’s way to participate and to recognise that there exist various ways of participating – not everybody wants to talk or to be in the limelight to the same extent. We work in a supportive way so that everyone can feel comfortable without feeling discriminated against or embarrassed.

We intervene in disrespectful behaviour

We respect each other’s personal space and integrity. We do not use derogatory or disparaging language, push aside or embarrass anyone with our talk, behaviour, or deeds. We do not criticise anyone’s looks or gossip.

We do not approve of discrimination or harassment

We do not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or other inappropriate behaviour. Library facilities and events are intoxicant-free.

Inappropriate behaviour will be addressed. Library staff should be informed of any unpleasant situations or inappropriate behaviour.

We bear the responsibility for our own communication

We want to be open about different opinions and perspectives. We ourselves seek to talk and communicate in an open and intelligible manner.

If we act wrong, we assume responsibility and apologise

We do not question another person’s experiences even if we do not agree. We pledge to observe our action critically and to constantly modify it. We receive feedback on our activities and modes of action.

 

The library guidelines are adapted from the Principles of Safer Space by SeAMK.