Public Library Safety & Security Toolkit


About the Toolkit

Our Challenge

Across Canada, socio-economic forces are increasing the frequency and intensity of security and safety incidents in public spaces, including libraries.

The Impact

Despite being a small percentage of customer interactions, these incidents significantly impact employees’ sense of safety and public perceptions of libraries as safe, welcoming and accessible spaces.


To support each other through these challenges, members of the Canadian Urban Libraries Council/Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada (CULC/CBUC) formed a Safety and Security Working Group to build a toolkit of best practices for public libraries to consider.

Safety and Security Working Group

The following people participated in the Safetey and Security Working Group which developed the initial toolkit for the ongoing team to continue to add to and keep alive:

  • Pilar Martinez, Edmonton Public Library, Chair of Safety & Security Working Group, and Advocacy Sub-group
  • Heather Robertson, Calgary Public Library, Chair of Toolkit Sub-group
  • Brad Bird, Saskatoon Public Library 
  • Karin Borland, Winnipeg Public Library 
  • Carol Cooley, Saskatoon Public Library, CULC/CBUC Exec Sponsor
  • Moe Hosseini-Ara, Toronto Public Library  
  • Elizabeth Malak, Toronto Public Library
  • Jennifer Marriott, Canadian Urban Libraries Council / Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada
  • Judy Moore, Thompson-Nicola Regional Library, CULC/CBUC Exec Sponsor
  • Nora Ott, Marigold Library System
  • Paul Takala, Hamilton Public Library  
  • Vicky Varga, Edmonton Public Library 

Ongoing Safety And Security Team

An ongoing team was created to further develop and enrich the toolkit’s content with best practices and knowledge from across CULC/CBUC members.

Want to contribute? Submit your feedback to

Terms of Reference for the CULC/CBUC Safety & Security Team

Public libraries across Canada are facing an unprecedented increase in the frequency and intensity of security and safety incidents in their spaces. Continuing the momentum of the CULC/CBUC Safety & Security Working Group, the Safety and Security Community of Practice will consist of a group of 8-10 CULC/CBUC  members who will:

  1. Promote learning, support and collaboration around safety and security amongst CULC/CBUC members.
  2. Ensure the CULC/CBUC Safety & Security Toolkit (consisting of best practices regarding safety and security including training and employee supports, social workers, customer conduct expectations, collaborative initiatives with other agencies) continues to be a living document.
  3. Provide expertise and support to the CULC/CBUC Executive in advocacy work related to safety and security.

The following are the Community of Practice deliverables.

  • Facilitating the sharing and usage of the safety and security toolkit by CULC/CBUC and other public libraries.
  • Engaging members in the toolkit content and renewal of content.
  • Adding new content as necessary to the toolkit; updating and editing content to
    the toolkit.
  • Establishing a community of practice for CULC/CBUC members and their staff who are engaged in the work of safety and security to enable sharing and learning.
  • Creating a portal/wiki that includes the range and diversity of resources related to Safety and Security contributed by CULC/CBUC members that is easily accessible and searchable (with the support of CULC/CBUC’s administrative staff).
  • Engaging the community of practice members to provide support and resources
    to each other and other CULC/CBUC members.
  • Supporting CULC/CBUC Executive in implementing the communications and advocacy strategy related to safety and security.

The following will be used to evaluate the success of this working group:

  • Feedback indicates that the toolkit and accompanying portal is helpful and useful, relevant, and current.
  • Collaboration demonstrated through sharing best practices within the working group.
  • A robust portal/wiki that is regularly updated and used by members of CULC/CBUC.


  • Chair: Moe Hosseini-Ara, Toronto Public Library
  • Karin Borland, Manager of Library Services, Winnipeg Public Library
  • Amber Christensen, Executive Director, Central Library, Regina Public Library
  • Valérie Doucet, Services Manager, Montréal Public Library
  • Jon Downey, Manager, Security Services, Vancouver Public Library
  • Mary Ann Gruppuso, Director, Customer Experience, Oshawa Public Library
  • Iris Lee, Manager of Human Resources, Richmond Public Library
  • Elizabeth Malak, Divisional Support Manager, Safety & Security Initiatives, Toronto Public Library
  • Jennifer Marriott, Canadian Urban Libraries Council/ Conseil des Bibliothèques Urbaines du Canada
  • Heather Robertson, Director, Service Design & Innovation, Calgary Public Library
  • Nathan Stretch, Division Manager, Kitchener Public Library
3-year rotation to enable other CULC/CBUC members to participate/contribute.