Library works on security

In order to check out books patrons must now enter a password.

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Library works on security

Rebecca Mitchell/ THE CHIMES

Rebecca Mitchell/ THE CHIMES

Rebecca Mitchell/ THE CHIMES

Rebecca Mitchell/ THE CHIMES

Rebecca Mitchell, Writer

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In hopes of increasing security, the library installed a new requirement at the self-checkout where students must enter their library account password after scanning their ID card.

Need for More Security

The need for more security came after the theft of over $2,000 worth of books over the summer. Two community members navigated the system to steal books from Biola’s and another school’s library, which Gregg Geary, dean of the library, would not reveal.

“From the events we can determine it was two people and… they had a modus operandi and they were consciously selecting books to steal and then they would resell them,” Geary said.

In the process of taking these books from the library, the two suspects purchased a community user card and used to make money off of the books rather than learning from them.

Unplanned Returns for Profit

“They had purchased a community user card and they used that information to check out materials with no intent of returning them. So in other words, for an investment of the purchase of a community user card they then turned around and checked out materials that they never planned to return,” Geary said.

The systematic stealing of books has not been a trend for the library over previous summers or during the school year, according to Geary. However, this action resulted in extra work for the multiple departments, including Campus Safety, the library and the L.A. County Sheriff’s, according to Cameron Osborn, building and safety supervisor for the library.

New Verification Steps

One of the new projects includes an extra security step in checking out books, which requires the patron to scan their ID card, type in their library account password and then check out the book. While every student has an account made for them when they first enroll at Biola, the account needs online activation by creating a password.

“It makes [students] proactive to go in and set up their password and by doing that, it adds a layer of security for them,” Geary said. “So far there has been no breach of any security with their accounts, but we are looking proactively at plugging any possible holes in security and by having students [make a password] it helps protect their accounts.”

With library accounts, students can check out books and media and use several other resources, including Link+.

“I believe that the security measures we are putting in place in response to what has happened will hopefully prevent similar things from happening in the future,” Osborn said.

Although the password creates an additional step, the process allows students to know library operations are secure.  

“I definitely think that it’s necessary right now with the circumstances, so we don’t really have an option. There’s no option of not having a password right now,” said Anna Ivanov, junior music composition major and library worker. “It brings safety into the library and that’s a nice thing.”

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