I heartily endorse the options that  Sue mentioned.  And I think you're right that if your patron is over 18, there probably isn't anything that you can/should do to force intervention onto your patron.  (I mean, so long as you are not witnessing illegal harmful behavior yourself.)

But I think it's also worth mentioning that the relationship that you have with your patron can be a powerful thing.  If you are friendly with her, and if you have regular interactions however brief they may be, you have created an opening, an invitation of sorts that is rooted in something more than just your card and your offer to assist her.  

She may never take you up on that offer, but it might matter very much to her that you have made it.  And, if other patrons witnessed you taking this kind step, they may reach out to you, or to other library staff, for help when they need it too.

I think that what you have done so far is not actually as modest as it may seem.  And it is a good reminder to the rest of us that the kindness we offer our patrons can be very important, even if we never see the fruit that it bears.

Emily-Jane Dawson
Reference Librarian
Multnomah County Library
Central Library

my preferred pronouns: she/her

On Tue, Feb 7, 2017 at 4:31 PM, Sue Ludington <Sue_Ludington@co.washington.or.us> wrote:

Hi Taylor,

This can truly be a disheartening position to be in. I for one definitely feel your pain and commend you for reaching out to see how others might respond.


Here in the Law Library, we have a brochure display that includes one for the Domestic Violence Resource Center located here in Hillsboro. In addition, in our building of 3 county departments (including Housing), we regularly post flyers (English and Spanish) advertising the DVRC with phone numbers on pull-off tabs in the women’s restroom stalls.


Might your library have similar brochures? Perhaps you could find a way to share it with her?


If you don’t have brochures, maybe you could inquire at your local DV center. From the State’s website [https://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ABUSE/DOMESTIC/Pages/index.aspx], I found the WomenSpace organization [http://womenspaceinc.org/] located in Eugene. You might contact them to see if they have brochures they’d send for your library. Alternatively or maybe in addition, you could consider creating a flyer like I describe above. I’ve seen similar postings in other public women’s restrooms.


And while I don’t know that the Lane County Law Library would have anything specifically helpful, I’d be remiss if I didn’t encourage you to reach out to them as needed. The Law Librarian, Neil Miller, has been in the community a while and might know of other contacts or resources. He can be reached at (541) 682-4337 or via email at neil.miller@co.lane.or.us.


Hope this offers a little something that you/the library can do that might prove helpful. Thanks for being such a kind and caring human!!! We can’t have too many these days. J





Sue Ludington

Assistant Law Librarian

Washington County Law Library

111 NE Lincoln St., MS #45

Hillsboro, OR 97124


503.846.8880 | sue_ludington@co.washington.or.us


From: Libs-Or [mailto:libs-or-bounces@listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Taylor Worley
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2017 3:50 PM
To: libs-or@listsmart.osl.state.or.us
Subject: [Libs-Or] Patrons in abusive relationships


Hi everyone, 


I am curious about how people handle suspicions of patrons being in abusive relationships. While I have no concrete proof, there is one patron in particular I'm very concerned about based on the patterns I observe at the library. 


I realize that this person is an adult and that I have very few options, but I do try to check on her, ask her how she is doing, and today I gave her my card and let her know again "if you every need anything, we're here to help". 


I think that is the extent of what I can do, however I'm curious if anyone has had experience with patrons in similar situations and what you did/can do/didn't do. 


Again, I have no proof, just observations and a very bad gut feeling. Thank you!


Taylor Worley                                                 
Youth Services Librarian

Springfield Public Library

225 5th Street

Springfield, OR 97422

541.726.2243 (direct)

"Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." -A. A. Milne


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