How secure is your library? It’s not something you might normally pay a lot of attention to in your work during the day, but the good folks over at American Libraries have roped in Warren Graham, author of The black belt librarian : real-world safety & security, to give some pointers about security in the library. Whether you want to make sure your collection items or personal belongings are safe or to ensure your own personal safety or that of your patrons, Warren Graham is on the case.
Some of my favourite tips from Graham include:
Bathrooms should be where staff can see people entering, not in vestibules. Bathrooms may become a spot for drug dealing or worse when doors are not visible to staff. Even better, design bathrooms with open entries.
Teen areas should be supervised and open to view. Unwatched teens will get rowdy.
“Watch nooks and crannies.” That’s where experienced criminals go every time, he said.
For good measure, you might also want to:
Keep your building clean. Trashy buildings attract trashy characters.
“My unsolicited advice to the public library community: Don’t bother asking OverDrive to change its contracts back to the way they used to be. Ask instead that one of your organizations – ALA, COSLA, ULC or some other – fund efforts to build and maintain a library-led, open source, hosting platform and an electronic marketplace for the direct acquisition of e-books licenses. Or find a modern day Andrew Carnegie to fund an electronic infrastructure for libraries. Take those steps to protect the public interest, and an improvement in the economics will follow. Take them now before it is too late.”