The arrival of summer, for some students, marks the end of the academic calendar and some time away from campus. At Chicago’s Columbia College, though, the summer months will be used to pilot new security measures including new campus ID checkpoints at the college’s downtown library building.
According to a report from the Columbia Chronicle, students, faculty and staff will now be required to present a Columbia ID in order to gain access to the college’s library. The initiative is also plotting to add other buildings as part of an ongoing access control pilot program.
The new ID checkpoint went live at the library building on June 1 and follows similar security measures to those that have already been implemented at the college’s Music Center, Media Production Center and Theatre/Film Annex. Columbia’s library building is also expected to be outfitted with a new electronic access system that will require students, faculty and staff to scan their card for access.
The building — which houses a five-story library, classrooms, departmental offices, student and faculty lounges and the college’s bookstore — reportedly had no prior security system to speak of, and essentially offered open access to students. So the implementation of the new ID checkpoint, and electronic access, is expected to offer a welcomed security boost to the facility.
The new access policy is also helping to alleviate individuals from outside the Columbia community from using the library’s resources — a common pain point for campuses with facilities in metropolitan areas.
“When we have surveyed students, we have gotten comments back that students have noticed that sometimes people using the computers do not appear to be other students,” Columbia College’s Library Dean, Jan Chindlund, told the Chronicle. “The new policy will make it easier for the librarians to ensure that the people using our technology are actually people who have paid for the technology.”
Other Columbia College facilities that have already piloted the new ID policy and checkpoint system have easily adjusted, officials say. “We think that students are going to get more and more used to carrying their card with them and having it accessible,” adds Chindlund.
Work is expected to continue throughout the summer to refine the new ID policies so that when students return in the fall the system will be as efficient as possible.