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Library Student Assistants: Emergencies, Noise/Behavior


Emergency Alert

UD has a campus alert system, which is used to provide announcements & instructions in the event of an emergency. Be sure to complete/update your emergency contact information at this link to ensure you receive the alerts via voicemail & text.

Weather Terms To Know

We are in Dubuque County. There is a map of Iowa counties next to the weather radio at circulation in case you need it.

Tornado Watch
Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to the weather radio for information.

Tornado Warning
A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately, taking patrons to the lower level. Our policy is that patrons evacuate to the lower level if there is a tornado warning; please encourage patrons to do so. However, we cannot force anyone to follow us; if they refuse, leave them there. 

Near the lockers, there is an emergency kit with flashlights, first-aid kits, etc. There is a weather radio plugged in, in that area.

Noise/Disruptive Behavior

  • Ask your supervisor or the reference librarian on duty to approach a disruptive patron if possible. If you do not feel comfortable approaching a disruptive patron when you cannot locate your supervisor or reference librarian, ask any permanent library staff member for assistance. If no library staff are available, call Security (x3333).
  • When dealing with disruptive students yourself, always treat the patron in a professional manner. Do not become exasperated, sarcastic, or condescending. Do not ask a patron’s name. Do not get into an argument.
  • For the first approach:
    • Approach the patron only if you feel comfortable. Call Security to do this if you do not feel comfortable.
    • Frame the request in a brief, neutral, non-threatening way. (“I think your behavior may be bothering other students.”).  The exact words are not as important as the tone. If appropriate, offer an alternative, such as moving to a study room.
  • For the second approach:
    • If the patron was rude or confrontational the first time, do not approach again. Call Security (X3333).
  • Call Security at any time if you are unsure about a situation or feel threatened.

Severe Weather

Severe Weather or Tornado Watch

            TORNADO WATCH:  Conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop. 

             No immediate action necessary.

  • Circulation staff will watch the weather, stay tuned to the weather radio, & monitor the weather radar on the internet.
  • Circulation staff will evacuate library patrons to the basement if the watch is upgraded to a warning.
  • Consult county map by weather radio at the circulation desk.


Tornado Warning or Sighting

TORNADO WARNING:   A tornado has been sighted in the area. 


  • If a tornado warning is issued on the weather radio, or if tornado sirens are activated in the area, evacuate all persons to the basement immediately.


  • Make an announcement in a loud voice of the tornado warning & have library patrons proceed to the stairwell exits immediately.  During business hours, Circulation will notify library staff.  Then staff will begin evacuation procedures and assist patrons.
  • If after hours, begin the evacuation yourself. Our policy is that patrons evacuate to the lower level if there is a tornado warning; please encourage patrons to do so. However, we cannot force anyone to follow us; if they refuse, leave them there.
  • Proceed to the basement.  Safest areas in the basement are away from the stairwell.
  •  If time allows, be sure to check the restrooms, study rooms, study carrels, Couchman (including the mezzanine), tech services, computer labs, Academic Support Center, & the coffee shop.
  • Call Security (X3333) & alert them that you are evacuating library patrons to the basement. Bring your cell phone or the reference desk phone and the flashlight with you. Flashlights are located under the front desk area at Circ.
  • If it is NOT possible to reach the basement in time, proceed to the nearest bathroom or interior hallway where there are no windows.
  • Wait for an official “ALL CLEAR” before coming out from your protective area.  DO NOT leave this area before being notified that everything is OK.  You may only be in the “eye” of the storm and more damaging winds may momentarily be upon you.

Emergency Supplies

An emergency supplies box, including important phone numbers, is located in the basement area.   It is located next to the lockers. Weather radio is plugged in, in the same area. The weather radio is also an AM/FM radio and has a flashlight included.

Noise: Cell Phones/Devices

  • Our policy is that cell phone ringers must be turned off in the library and that brief, quiet conversations held in the library are not disruptive. This means no speaker phone or video chatting on their phone, even with headphones.
  • All music playing should be with headphones, at a reasonable volume.
  • If a cell phone call is obviously disrupting others please ask the patron to move to the coffee shop, lobby, stairwell or outside. This disruption may be brought to your attention by another patron because you cannot hear the phone from the Circulation Desk.
  • Use the same professional demeanor that you use with any disruption.
  • If you cannot leave the Circulation Desk to talk to the patron, call Security (x3333).