The ASU has been meeting with members from libraries concerned with the increase in Occupational Health and Safety incidents in libraries. The ASU and ASU members will not tolerate aggression from customers towards library staff.

Officials and delegates have met with management at a number of councils to discuss the rise in aggression toward staff and are working through safer guidelines and better strategies.

It is critical that staff feel safe in their workplace and can freely report all incidents, including near misses and hazards, so that OH&S requirements can be met.

The ‘Libraries Change Lives’ program, aims to increase the value of libraries in our communities – something the ASU strongly supports. However, we have some concerns with after dark libraries programs, there are implications for spread of hours and ongoing safety concerns.

The union is actively raising concern with library managements to ensure the safety and welfare of members. Our members are clear that libraries are not an extension of gambling supports, counselling or other social services; library staff are not trained counsellors and providing these services is not their role.

We have seen some success with advocacy for library staff at the City of Darebin. This advocacy from ASU officials and delegates, has seen positive steps including analysing OH&S incidents over time for patterns, and increasing staff training.

The Library Liaison Group Delegates Committee is a chance for all members to tackle issues like increasing customer violence and the implications of extended hours programs.

The Library Liaison Group Delegates Committee next meets on Tuesday 13 August 2019 and all library members are welcomed and encouraged to join. Contact the ASU Member Contact Centre on 1300 855 570 if you would like to attend this meeting. If you are unable to get to the meeting, you can also ‘phone on’ to take part.

If you do have any concerns with customer aggression should be reported through internal OH&S reporting systems. And for further support or advice, contact the ASU Member Contact Centre on 1300 855 570 or

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