Tuesday, June 19, 2007

In the event of an emergency...

At our last Library supervisor meeting, a representative of the Kankakee City Fire Department visited with us to discuss evacuation procedures. As many of you may know, we have an odd situation here, since we share our building with four floors of office suites above us. Consequently, as we try to leave via our emergency stairs, the upstairs renters are doing so as well. Still, that isn't our biggest evacuation challenge. That would be patrons who simply refuse to leave or delay leaving while they collect their belongings. This may be a case of "the boy who cried wolf". People assume if they don't see flames or smoke, it must a drill. But last month, we had one alarm caused by a sprinkler malfunction that was not a drill. For all the staff knew, some other part of the building was in flames. Still we got those who wanted to close Windows and save their documents as they casually pack up their laptops or run to other rooms to collect purses. We're approaching the point where we are thinking of enacting penalties for such behavior, including a temporary banning from the Library. Such measures will be for our Library Board to decide. I'm at a loss as to what else to do about his small minority that selfishly insists on putting the majority at risk.

Steve Bertrand
Assistant Director


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