With renovations coming to the Krannert Memorial Library, security updates have been a topic of discussion. However, according to Director of the Library Matthew Shaw, the library seldom has issues with students stealing books, personal belongings or other school property. With that in mind, security measures likely will stay the same with only minor changes.
“In my experience, people that are going to steal from the library are going to figure out a way to steal from the library even if the technology is in place,” Shaw said. “But I think by and large most users of a library are honest. They want things to be on the shelf when they need them and they aren’t going to steal and disadvantage themselves later.”
Many students bring their valuable belongings, such as laptops and phones, to the library with them to study. Shaw mentioned that although valuables are not stolen from the library often, it is best to keep in mind that leaving valuables unattended is risky.
“On one occasion, we have had to involve the police. I think someone had reported their laptop stolen,” Shaw said. “And of course, we don’t really have any way to monitor that kind of security. We do have signs around the library that warn people not to leave their devices unattended, or really any personal belonging. It is a testament to how trusting our students are to that fact that many of them just get up and go to the restroom with their laptop sitting there, or their iPad, and that is always a bad idea.”
Freshman pharmaceutical major Rory Sommerville and freshman occupational therapy major Liv Reuter both said that while the library is a safe environment, they would not necessarily leave any valuables there.
“Most people here are pretty trusting,” Sommerville said. “But I don’t know everyone. So I would trust my things around people that I know, but not really around strangers.”
The library is meant to be a safe and quiet place for students to study and expand their knowledge, according to Shaw. He believes that significantly increasing the library’s security is unnecessary, and that it would just create an uneasy environment for the students.
“Security in libraries is always an ongoing concern, because we want to make sure that we are offering our students access to good collections. So if people were stealing from the library, it would be really unfortunate,” Shaw said. “But also a library has to be a safe and comfortable environment.”
The Krannert Memorial Library is open 24 hours a day during finals week, which does call for an increase in security during the nighttime hours. Overnight security guards are hired to monitor the activity of the library, while the regular library staff continues to work during the day.
According to Shaw, the library staff is generally the first party to get involved in an issue regarding students, whether a disagreement or a noise complaint. However, if library employees discover that something illegal is going on, they will contact the campus police immediately, bypassing the library’s usual involvement.