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Citizen Bane: A Librarian's Primer on Sovereigns
Information Today - Medford
Subjects: United States; Communications & information management; Social responsibility; Guidelines
Author: Aycock, Anthony
Date: Dec 2014
Start Page: 1
Pages: 3
Abstract (Document Summary)

Librarians have faced extreme patrons as long as there have been libraries. Most are just misguided, stubborn, or naive, and they can be funny. When an extreme patron comes along with legal questions, however, things change. Legal questions often involve money, freedom, or life itself, which ups the stakes for patrons, and the law can be a Gordian knot, confusing even to the well-intentioned. If the patron has a homemade ID card, he is probably a sovereign citizen. A 2004 article in AALL Spectrum addresses to serve this patron. First, treat every question seriously and every patron with respect, even the weird ones. If the patron does not seem sane, still treat her with respect, but realize your priorities have changed. Your goal is not to find information -- the patron likely won't even look at it -- but to avoid a confrontation. The key is to listen. This is especially true in legal reference interviews.

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