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Library improves book security

Students who are familiar with the Eunice & James L. West Library have probably noticed some new changes.

The library has obtained a new security system which is believed to be more effective than in the past, when the only security was the gates at the entrances, according to Risa Brown, reference library assistant.

Brown said library staff began working on the new project at the end of the spring semester and continued through the summer.

The new security system includes undetectable chips in each book, so that when books are taken without being checked out, new alarms at the library doors will go off, Brown said. The library, along with local members of the Boy Scouts of America and student volunteers from nearby elementary schools completed much of the work of putting the chips in the books during the summer, not all of the books have chip in them yet.

“When we got the new gates we needed to put new devices in all the books in the library. I’m not sure how many book the library has but I would say roughly around 200,000,” Brown said. “We are not done with the work yet but we are trying to place the device in all the books.”

She said the old library security system is similar to the new one; there has always been a security gate at the library entrances. But the old gate alarms often went off for reasons other than books being taken out of the building, such as cell phones and books from other libraries being taken out.

Reference and Instruction librarian Dennis Miles believes that this new system is going to help with the process of checking out books. The new chip in the books will help to check out multiple books at once and he believe that it will be here for as long as a new and effective system is introduced.

“This system will probably stay until something better comes along, it’s supposed to help check out stacks of books at a time,” Miles said.

Kiana Veasley, a senior criminal justice major and library student worker, said that although most students will not notice the new chips in the books. She thinks the new system will help make it easier for the staff to detect when books are being taken from the library.

She also said students will benefit from the new system, as it will allow the staff to keep a closer eye on the books and provide the books to students when they need them.

“I think this new system will be good for students. They should be happy that we stepped up the security, because now when they come looking for a book we won’t have to tell them that someone took the book and we don’t know where it’s at,” said Veasley.

Senior criminal Justice major Kiana Veasley walks through the security gate to demonstrate how the new system works.
Photo by Massaran Kromah
The undetectable chips have been installed in around 200,000 books.
Photo by Massaran Kromah


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Library improves book security