In an effort to simultaneously increase safety in University buildings and streamline security operations, a number of changes are being instituted to restrict access to the Rockefeller and Sciences libraries.
Starting this year, students are required to swipe their ID cards to enter the Rockefeller Library after 10 p.m., when the library closes to the public, according to David Banush, associate university librarian for access services.
Card readers were installed last year on the doors of the library and a number of other campus buildings, including J. Walter Wilson, in an effort to enhance security on campus, said Mark Porter, executive director and chief of public safety. Readers were also put in place on the Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center doors when it opened this year. The card readers prevent anyone who is not a member of the Brown community from entering these buildings to help ensure the safety of those inside, Porter said. He said the changes were not prompted by a change in crime patterns at the libraries.
Banush said that over winter break, a card-operated turnstile system will be installed in the Rockefeller Library. Those who do not have Brown card access will be asked show identification to be admitted by the staff at the circulation desk, he said. Banush said turnstile systems have been used at a number of other institutions including the University of Rhode Island, Harvard and New York University.
Since the summer, building attendants no longer sit at the front desk at the Rockefeller Library, Banush said. The elimination of the building attendants was part of an organizational review process to lower University costs that took place last year, he said. The building attendants were primarily hired to ensure that materials from the library were not removed in any unauthorized way, Banush said.
Other ways of preventing unauthorized removal of library materials, including installing alarms on the gates, have made the building attendant positions less critical to the operation of the library than they had previously been, he added.
Hernan Cumplido, a Sterling security guard working at the Sciences Library, said he is concerned that without an attendant at the front desk, anybody is able to enter the library, which might make staff and students might feel less secure.
But Banush said that people entering the library are required to either swipe in or sign in at the front desk, and the staff working at the circulation desk help monitor and regulate access to the library. He added there are also security cameras in the lobby. In addition, a Sterling security guard now patrols the building during all hours of operation, Banush said.
Joseph Sarno, director of labor and employee relations, said the University eliminated the attendant positions without any involuntary layoffs. Among the former building attendants at the Rockefeller Library, one part-time attendant accepted voluntary retirement, one full-time attendant decided to pursue her education and two part-time evening attendants were transferred to the SciLi to work the same hours.
The SciLi is keeping the building attendant at the front desk and will not use a turnstile system, due to the different setup of the library, Banush said. He said a turnstile system needs a person to monitor it, but in the SciLi no staff works on the first floor except for the building attendant.
Banush said the University has informed neighborhood users of the libraries that the doors are locked after 10 p.m. and has not received any questions or concerns.
According to Allison Spooner, president of the College Hill Neighborhood Association, the organization has not received complaints about the libraries' locking the doors at 10 p.m.
"Building security remains a priority across the University," said Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and university relations.