Library Safety & Security Coordinator

City of Tacoma, WA
September 17, 2023
Tacoma, WA
Job Type


Position Description
Join a library system engaged in community-driven services to deliver an innovative and exciting future to residents of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Tacoma Public Library (TPL) serves over 200,000 residents in Tacoma, Washington.

We are seeking talented individuals to join our team, who:

  • Are strongly committed to listening to our community in order to deliver valued, needed and highly used library programs and services;
  • Are committed to working to support and deliver high quality, innovative, customer-focused services;
  • Are passionate about racial equity and social justice;
  • Have demonstrated success in building collaborative, high performing teams across departments;
  • Have a vision and understanding of trauma informed care and harm reduction with an eye to both current and future needs;
  • Are customer-focused; excellent communicator;
  • Are results-oriented and committed to collaboration

If you believe that the library can empower the community by bringing people together to discover, connect, create, learn, and thrive, your next position may be at TPL! We welcome applicants of all abilities.

Position Summary:
We are seeking a Library Safety & Security Coordinator to work with Library leadership and employees to ensure a welcoming and safe environment for patrons and staff. You will lead training and initiatives to support library staff and build capacity for staff to provide safe, trauma informed library service to patrons including effective techniques for working with patrons experiencing mental health, substance misuse, unstable housing or living unsheltered, or exclusion issues. You will build capacity for staff to proactively avoid, or effectively respond to conflicts, inappropriate library uses and emergencies. Work is performed across the library system.

Are you excited about the idea of working in a diverse urban library system? The ideal candidate is committed to racial equity and social justice and has a passion for radically welcoming customer service. Applying equity and social justice principles is a daily responsibility and a foundational expectation for all Tacoma Public Library employees. All employees are expected to model and apply our equity and social justice shared values, behaviors, and practices.

Responsibilities include:

  • Lead a safety and security community of practice for library staff
  • Assist with education of library staff on a variety of topics related to serving patrons who may be unhoused or in crisis, including trauma informed care, best practices and providing social service information and referral
  • Coordinate with Library Social Worker and Learning and Development Specialist and other key library staff to arrange formal trainings, and informal resource sharing
  • Assist as a resource for appropriate library use pursuant to policies and procedures including exclusion and incident reporting
  • Provide current and relevant information, support, referrals, and assistance to patrons experiencing crisis such as mental health issues, substance abuse, unstable housing, living unsheltered, food insecurity, employment, or exclusion issues
  • Connect, build, and maintain partnerships with community agencies, neighborhood groups, social services agencies, and volunteer organizations to address the needs of patrons and potential patrons
  • Crisis assistance and intervention in the library as required
  • Under the direction of the Human Resources Manager, assure safety compliance, investigate safety concerns, and assist with corrective actions and safety training
  • Support strategy and planning for organizational safety programs, including emergency and disaster plans and annual safety drills

Minimum Qualifications
Equivalent combination to:
• Bachelor's degree in Mental Health, Social Work or related field
• Four years of experience providing direct service to at-risk, marginalized populations, people affected by housing insecurity, food insecurity, substance abuse, poverty and/or refugee and immigrant communities

Desirable Qualifications

  • Experience with de-escalation, trauma informed care, and/or restorative practices
  • Fluency in more than one language

Frequent travel to neighborhood libraries and community organizations within the Puget Sound region, valid Washington State Driver's License or equivalent mobility is required.

Knowledge & Skills
Race and Social Justice: A strong commitment to providing equitable services to marginalized or underserved populations throughout Tacoma. Demonstrated experience working in and with Black, Indigenous and People of Color, refugee and immigrant communities preferred.

Excellent Communication and Interpersonal Skills: Must be able to communicate clearly, diplomatically, and in a friendly and positive manner with staff and library patrons from diverse language, ethnic, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, as well as with neighborhood-based or special interest groups.

Commitment to Continuous Learning: Acquire and maintain the necessary skills to better serve our patrons and help our organization evolve. A commitment to develop and grow a racial equity practice; this includes but is not limited to focusing on and addressing the emerging needs of specific age groups and understanding the impacts of race and intersectionality in our larger systems, library policy, programs, and services.

Resiliency: Be resourceful and prepared to engage with evolving and emerging dynamics in the community as well as the workplace, and through learning, overcome challenges in ways that respond to patron needs and help the organization move forward. Must have the ability to maintain a high level of professionalism and customer service while engaging patrons about the Library's rules of conduct, working in public areas, and when confronted by aggressive or challenging patrons.

Leadership: Applicants must be able to utilize their knowledge, skills, and abilities to effect positive change. They must actively seek out information from the social services and library industries; pursue opportunities to develop networks with the intent to learn about best practices from other organizations and share best practices; take initiative in helping the organization to meet its goals; and be able to communicate how the Library is fulfilling its mission.

Other Required Skills and Abilities: Flexible, able to handle multiple competing priorities and tasks, adaptable to change, and able to work effectively in a fast-paced, high-volume environment. An ability to incorporate and apply newer/emerging technologies in support of creative, effective programming and information services is desirable.
Selection Process & Supplemental Information
Interested individuals who meet the minimum qualification for this position must apply online. Your application should include job experience, major responsibilities and accomplishments related to this position. Applicants who meet the minimum qualifications will have their applications materials scored. Candidates who obtain a passing score will be ranked on the eligible list for interview and hiring consideration.

This position is covered by a Labor Agreement between the Tacoma Public Library and Local 117. Individuals given a conditional offer of employment must also pass a background check. New employees must successfully complete a six month probationary period prior to obtaining permanent status in this classification.

Tacoma Public Library Stands Against Racism and White Supremacy
Tacoma Public Library is opposed to white supremacy in all of its forms and is committed to fostering an organization that is actively anti-racist. We believe that Black Lives Matter. We are grieving with our black community and all communities of color who continue to be harmed by institutionalized racism. We are committed to being a trusted community resource available to all and will provide resources and public programs that seek to reflect the values of anti-racism and elevate the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

Tacoma Public Library
Tacoma Public Library (TPL) has been an essential provider of free books, information, ideas, and education for more than 125 years. TPL's neighborhood libraries originated with Andrew Carnegie's visionary philanthropy at the turn of the 20th century and are being transformed into true centers of educational innovation and service--and vital community hubs--that continue to provide far more than free books and materials.

Learn more about the Tacoma Public Library and the services we provide at and connect with us on Facebook , Instagram , Twitter , and LinkedIn to stay up to date on exciting things happening at the library, and to be notified of other career opportunities with us.

Communication from the City of Tacoma:
We primarily communicate via email during the application process. Emails from and/or must be placed on your safe domain list to ensure that you receive notifications in a timely manner. As a precaution, you may also want to check your junk email folders.

The online application system requires you to enter a substantial amount of information. Be prepared to spend at least an hour entering information. In order for your application materials to be considered, all information must be submitted by the closing date and time listed on this job announcement.

For assistance with the NEOGOV application process, or questions regarding this job announcement, call the Human Resources office at (253) 591.5400 before 4:00 p.m. of the closing date of the job announcement.

Insurance Plans: You may participate in one of several group health insurance programs. Employees and their dependents are covered by a medical-surgical-hospital plan, vision plan, dental plan, and employees are covered by a long-term disability plan. Short-term and expanded long-term disability insurance and Deferred Compensation options are also available.
Employees are covered by the State Industrial Insurance Act.

Paid leave: Library Employees are entitled to receive paid holidays, and Personal Time Off (PTO).

Retirement: All employees of the Library except part-time Pages, temporary employees, and certain project employees, are included in the City of Tacoma Employees' Retirement System. Information on the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System can be found at or by calling (253) 502-8200. All members of the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System are also covered by Social Security.

The Tacoma Public Library is not a department of the City of Tacoma and the Library's employees are not employees of the City. The Library is a separate entity with its own governing body. The Library's governing body is the Tacoma Public Library Board of Trustees.

Employees of the City of Tacoma who accept employment with the Tacoma Public Library will lose their City of Tacoma employee seniority. They will also find that their leave accruals, and some of the benefits enjoyed as employees of the City of Tacoma do not carry over when they are hired for a position with the Tacoma Public Library.

Closing Date/Time: 9/29/2023 5:00 PM Pacific

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