Swedish librarians are voicing their concern about an alarming development that includes violence and drug dealing, national broadcaster SVT reported.
In a new survey performed by the trade union DIK, 1,618 librarians testified to increasing social unrest on their premises. According to SVT, threats and violence occur mainly in the public libraries located in the country's suburbs.
Noise and aggressive behaviour turned out to be the biggest problem, having increased from 73 percent in 2017 to 81 percent.
Another 55 percent of public library staff and 42 percent of school librarians testified to encountering violence over the past two years, marking an increase of 13 and 18 percent, respectively, compared to 2017.
However, the report also indicated a new trend: library property is increasingly being used for drug dealing. Nearly half of the public libraries who answered the questionnaire (47 percent) admitted that drug trafficking has occurred on their premises in the past two years.
DIK chair Anna Troberg suggested the surveys indicate that situation is getting worse and worse. The way it stands today, nine out of ten librarians experience “social anxiety” in their workplace.
“No one should have to face these kinds of situations in their workplace”, DIK community manager Stina Hamberg told SVT.