staff safety page

*See Also the Problem Patrons Section

Workplace violence can occur anywhere, at any time.  This may include an intruder threatening staff. 


If a person is shouting, swearing, or threatening:

  • Attend to the persons need to be heard

  • Signal for a co-worker to call police (Do not call yourself while talking to the person)

  • Acknowledge the person's feeling of anger, hurt, etc.

If the person is threatening with a weapon.  Use your own best judgement:

  • Alert authorities if possible

  • Stay calm and signal for help if possible

  • Maintain eye contact

  • Stall for a time, try to keep them talking

  • Do not argue with the person--do what they say

  • Do not attempt to disarm the person

  • If you have the opportunity to escape or hide, do so if you can do it quickly, safely, and quietly

In the event of a bomb threat: 

  • Note all information the caller gives you, such as details of the caller's speech, background noise, etc. 

  • Call 911 immediately and evacuate the building. 

  • DO not move or inspect an unclaimed package. 

  • Police or fire departments will determine if it is safe to re-enter the building.


Follow these instructions (IN ORDER) to keep you safe when encountering BLOOD, FECES, URINE or VOMIT.  (There are kits with the tools and PPE do this--located near the cleaning supplies)

  •  Using a wet floor sign (or other barrier), block of the affected area until the site is clean and dry.

  •  Be sure to protect yourself by wearing  the provided apron, face mask, and nitrile gloves. *Wash hands before putting these items on.

  •  Sprinkle kitty litter over the spill and let stand for at least 1 minute or until the spill is completely clumped.

  • If the kitty litter can not be used in an effective manner, wipe away the substance with a paper towel.

  •  Remove the substance with the provided scraper (if kitty litter used) or paper towel and place in a new trash bag.

  • Seal the bag tightly and place into a 2nd trash bag.  Do not seal the 2nd bag quite yet.

  • Spray disinfectant over the area and wipe with a paper towel.  Discard the dirty paper towels into the unsealed trash bag.

  • Once the spill is clean and dry, place all affected materials (apron, gloves, mask) into the trash bag.  *Remove the gloves last and make sure not to get anything on your skin.

  • Tightly seal the trash bag and dispose of according to state regulations (in dumpster outside).

  • Wash hands thoroughly with hand soap for 20 seconds.  Dry hands. Remove signs and open affected area.

Example video of the above directions

(though slightly different as we do not have this specific clean-up kit)



If you see someone that you suspect has overdosed: 

  • Immediately call 911

  • Do not touch the person without nitrile gloves (there could be fatal traces of fentanyl that could absorb through your skin)

  • Wait for the police or ambulance

If you find hypodermic needles:

  • Wear nitrile gloves

  • Pick up syringe using metal tongs

  • Place in red Sharps container or empty plastic detergent bottle and seal tightly

  • Call the police and report



If you are witness to a small fire or smoking materials that could easily be put out with a fire extinguisher please do so. 

Emergency Evacuation of the Library should take place in the event of:

  • Any suspicious electric or gas smell  

  • Large amounts of smoke or fire that is spreading

    • Please evacuate all patrons from the library even if you are putting out a small fire with the extinguisher​

    • Call 911 immediately on ANY occasion of smoke or fire (so they can make sure everything is out)

*There are many instances where we smell natural gas in the library.  It is NORMAL in many cases, especially after turning on the furnace after long periods of time.  When in doubt, please call the Columbia Gas Company or the village admin. and have them check.

When evacuating the library, please BE CALM and follow these procedures:

  • Call 911 and state the nature of the emergency

  • Announce the emergency to all staff and patrons

  • Evacuate everyone from the building following the nearest exit that is uncompromised

  • Meet in a designated area and make sure everyone is accounted for

    • Elmore Designated area: Methodist Church parking lot (next door)​

    • Genoa Designated area: Rayz Parking Lot

  • Follow the instructions of the emergency responders and do not enter the building until given clearance

Please be mindful of these common fire starters in the workplace:

  • Space Heaters (please turn them off and unplug them when not in use)

  • Turning off appliances after use

  • Overloaded outlets and power strips

  • Frayed electrical wiring/cording

  • Mounds of paper or boxes near appliances, electrical outlets, heat sources, or chemicals.

  • Flammable liquids not contained/sealed or near heat/electrical sources

  • Do not block exits with physical items




  • Call 911 for ALL medical emergencies

  • If you need to perform CPR, there is NO REASON to breathe into their mouth. Just continue to do chest compressions according to the video.  A good rhythm is the the beat of "Staying Alive".

  • The FIRST AID KIT is located on the wall of the staff lounge at both libraries


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If you believe that a patron may need some help or may be harmful to themselves or others, you can get a hold of a CIT Officer (Crisis Intervention Trained) and ask them to do a wellness check.  The Elmore Chief of Police (Jeff Harrison) is a CIT officer.








In the event of a devastating tornado, fire, or other disaster,the Board of Trustees will convene as soon as possible to determine the amount of damage, and discuss possible options for location and/or rebuilding.  Emergency personnel, community leaders, and experts in pertinent fields may be invited to such a meeting.

The Director will inform the Board of Trustees and Fiscal Officer as soon as possible after the occurrence.  If the Director is incapacitated, the responsibility of informing Trustees and vendors and serving as the go-between with contractors and media will fall to the Assistant Director Or Genoa Branch Manager if Asst. Director has not been appointed.

The Board of Trustees will determine what actions will be taken regarding reconstruction, relocating, etc.  Staff is expected to exercise common sense and good judgement in the case of an emergency and should not put themselves in imminent danger if it can be avoided.

In case of building damage at the Elmore location, The Director and Coordinator of Technical Services will report for work at the Genoa location.  In case of damage at the Genoa site, the Branch Manager and Clerk III will report to the Elmore site.  Other employees should await additional information and instructions before reporting to work.


The Library will CLOSE when there is a LEVEL 3 Snow Emergency declared for Ottawa County.  


Level 2 Snow Emergencies for Ottawa County may result in closure of the library at the discretion of the Library Director for reasons of safety to library staff and patrons.

Every attempt will be made to re-open the facilities as soon as practicable.  If the libraries are open and weather conditions begin deteriorating, the decision may be made to close early.  Staff should follow regular closing procedures, contact staff who may be assigned a later shift and make sure that unaccompanied minors have safe passage home before leaving the libraries.



In case of a TORNADO, staff and patrons inside the library should take immediate shelter in the area of the library designated safest by the Fire Department.  

ELMORE LIBRARY:  Men's & Women's Restrooms                  GENOA LIBRARY:  Magazine Room

If a tornado warning is sounded, staff should:

  • Notify all staff and patrons

  • Announce where the tornado shelter is located and proceed there immediately

  • Help those that need assistance

  • Take cell phones to the shelter so that emergency personnel can be alerted if necessary

Once the storm has passed, staff and patrons should evacuate the building, if it is damaged and follow the instructions of emergency responders.  If the building is not damaged, the staff should continue to monitor the news and weather alerts to warn of additional storms.

If unaccompanied minors are present at the time of the incident, all efforts should be taken to contact the parents or guardians of those minors.  

Staff should not prevent patrons from leaving the building if those patrons so prefer.


In the event of an earthquake, take shelter under sturdy tables or desks or under an interior doorway.  Stay away from windows. 


Evacuate the building when the shaking stops, remembering that aftershocks generally follow large earthquakes. 

Contact Info

Harris-Elmore Public Library

328 Toledo St.

P.O. Box 45

Elmore, OH 43416

Phone:  (419) 862-2482

Fax:  (419) 862-2123

Library Hours

Monday Wednesday Friday: 10am-5pm

Tuesday & Thursday: 10am-6pm

Saturday: 10am-2pm

Sunday: CLOSED

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