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Modern Technologies and Challenges to Library

According to Brand (1980), academic libraries are vulnerable to security risks from the public population. Further members of the academic community, both students and faculty/staff, can pose security problems. Security issues in academic libraries are numerous. These include: the theft of library materials, the mutilation or vandalism of library materials, dealing with deranged and/or disruptive patrons, and assaults on library patrons and staff. Institutions of higher education spend millions of dollars to build library book and periodical collections. Patrons can do considerable damage to these collections by stealing from them or mutilating items in the collection. Patrons can also disrupt the library environment by harassing patrons and staff or committing illegal acts (Lorenzen, 1993). Academic libraries have responded in many ways to these threats to the collection and to the people who use and work in the library. Increased training of staff to deal with these issue has been one way. Increasing the presence of security personnel in the library has been another. By far the biggest response has been the installation of electronic security devices to prevent the unauthorized circulation of library materials (Olsen & Ostler, 1985).

The study focused on Dr. Pilcher, a well known scholar, who also stole extensively from the Imperial Russian Library in the 19th Century. Stuart also studied some earlier book thieves as well. Seleth (1991) also reported on a historical book thief. Not surprisingly due to all the Nigerian research on this topic, Lincoln and Lincoln (1986) showed that theft and mutilation were an international problem as well as a historical one. As public institutions, public libraries have encountered many of the problems that exist in today’s society. The criminal use of public libraries (Anderson, 1986), the theft of public library materials (Gothberg, 1987), and obnoxious patron behaviour (Lincoln, 1984) have all been thoroughly documented. Thus, it can be surmised that some of these same problems exist in libraries. The Museum Security Network, Netherlands, has done a survey and report Issued in January 1999. The survey shows, that generally libraries are considered to be a symbol of peace and knowledge, but library managers express their concern about security of individuals, library materials, computer equipment, etc. At present security & protection are fundamental challenge of the libraries. Security challenges that are commonly found in the libraries:

➢ facilities with too many unsupervised areas

➢ theft of personal property & library materials

➢ mutilation of library materials

➢ transients and unaffiliated users

➢ computer vandalism

➢ poor campus security

In another survey done by Claudine Perrault, Director of the Estes Park Public Library, on February 2006. Seventeen libraries responded to this survey; Five currently use a materials security system, and others do not follow this system.


Reference Article:

  • Farid, B. (2012). Developing security measures and risk management policies for libraries to face challenges and prevent cyber threats.
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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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