October 27, 2006

Working Students Stay Safe in Uris

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When it comes to security, few would consider Uris library a dangerous place. Nevertheless, two security guards regularly patrol Cornell’s favorite late-night study lounge for reasons.

Recent incidents may provide a good reason: Neighboring Olin Library was the site of two occurrences of petit and grand larceny in the month of October, according to the Cornell University Police Department Daily Report.

Between the hours of 2 a.m. and 8 a.m., the security guards monitor the library, specifically checking CUIDs as non-Cornell students are not permitted in Uris after 2 a.m.

The security guards have been known to strictly enforce this rule and will make students who cannot provide proper identification leave the library.

“A friend of mine left his ID in his dorm, and shortly after 2 a.m. he was asked to leave Uris,” said Sung Jun Choi ’10.

Although many may wonder why such security is necessary, Anne Kenney, the senior associate University librarian, explained the security guards serve an important purpose for the Cornell community.

“The security guards are a safety measure to protect students from the potential of any type of danger, which could occur late at night. This type of security is common in many research libraries throughout the country,” Kenney said.

Because it is the only library on campus open 24 hours a day, the security of Uris’ occupants becomes even more imperative later in the night.

On top of that, Kenney explains there have been threats to security in the past which have included possible acts of vandalism. Such dangers pose a serious concern, and in order to not only protect Cornellians, but the library itself, the security guards hope to deter such behavior and eliminate any risk to students.

The safety system that Uris has implemented is provided by Securitas Security Services USA, a leading security system provider with employers in over 30 countries. The Securitas system is considered one of the best in the industry, and provides a more practical method than having librarians take on the job of monitoring the library. Securitas provides the guards themselves.

“This system is convenient because [Securitas] always ensures that two guards are always here,” Kenney said.

Subsequently, this gives the library staff one less thing to worry about and puts the issues of safety in the hands of the experts.

The added security has been received positively by many; students have expressed overall appreciation for the system and its presence.

“It’s not like anything would happen, but it’s nice to have them there just in case there was any type of danger. I think they are a necessary precaution which can only benefit students,” said Saad Ahsad ’10.

On another note, Kenney revealed that the security guards also serve another important purpose outside of providing security: “Their job also involves waking up any students who may have fallen asleep in the library, which happens frequently.”

So those working hard — and others hardly working — into the early hours of the morning can rest easy knowing that the only thing they have to fear is the material they came to study.