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Libraries will become swipe-only after 10 p.m.

New swipe access policy will take effect today

Ryan Secard
Contributing Writer

According to an email sent to the student body by Irene Herold, librarian at the College, The College of Wooster libraries will require students to swipe their C.O.W. card to enter the libraries after 10 p.m. beginning on Sept. 8. After this time, the library will be closed to public access, but will remain open for students and faculty until its normal closing hours at 2:00 a.m.

The new access system will affect the entrances to the Andrews, Gault and Timken libraries. According to Herold, this system was proposed more than a decade ago to “streamline library building access.” However, the library doors previously lacked the appropriate technology.

The push to add the new access system started a few months ago, and as of Aug. 30, all exterior library doors now have the means to restrict entry to swipe access. According to Director of Security and Protective Services (SPS) Steven Glick, the current project started with the library administration but received SPS support.

Although no specific events in particular prompted it, Herold stated that the change is being made with campus safety in mind, explaining that the College considers student safety and security “paramount.” “This is just another way we can contribute to that,” she said.

Chief Glick also said that the change to late-night public access for the library shouldn’t impact student accessibility and “will make for a safer environment overall.” Swipe access will add an extra layer of security to the library doors, which are currently monitored only with security cameras. Between the existing cameras and the new limitations on access, “Now we know it will only be our community in the building for our later night hours,” said Herold.

Non-college patrons of the library will experience very little change as a result of these new access measures. “While the libraries have to be open to the public, I think it is reasonable to limit that access to ‘normal’ business hours,” said Glick.

Herold said that if patrons enter the library before 10 p.m. and stay, they won’t be asked to leave. “Folks can still stop by after a campus event and access the resources before heading for home,” she said. She also noted that a recent article in the Wooster Weekly News on the College libraries referred people to the College libraries’ website for hours of operation, so visitors will not be confused by out-of-date information.

Although members of the public are primarily served by the Wayne County Public Library, some members of the community visit the College libraries to rent media, do research and access archives that are not available at the WCPL. Individuals not associated with the College can access their materials by signing up for a renewable library card if they are at least 14 years of age.

Glick dismissed any fear of the new policy’s effect on the student body. “It won’t have any impact on student accessibility and will make for a safer environment overall,” he said.

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