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ISSUE 118 VOL 15 PUBLISHED 4/8/2005

Library installs improved system

By Emelie Heltsley
News Editor


Friday, April 8, 2005

Students returned from spring break to find two new additions to Rolvaag Memorial Library – the streamlined security gates and bright pink signs prohibiting cell phone usage in the library.

The new security gates cost a total of $23,000 and came from the college's capital improvements fund. "We are grateful to get it," Bryn Geffert, college librarian, said.

According to Geffert, the new system is more sensitive and reliable, has better calibrated sensors and excludes "dead zones."

Three new entrance vestibules replaced the four old "entrance" and "exit" gates. Students can now enter and exit through any of the armless gates. Tables and trees temporarily fill the space that the fourth gate occupied – a void soon to be filled by oak half-walls, the same height and color as the circulation desk and created by the college carpenter.

The new detection system was installed in Rolvaag because 3M, the manufacturer of the old security gates, recently informed the library that they would no longer maintain the gates. "They were old enough that [3M wasn't] going to service them," Geffert said. If anything were to happen, the library would have been without security.

When an arm on one of the vestibules broke, Geffert thought it was as "good a time as any" to proceed with the new security system.

Student library workers have noticed the sensitivity of the new system. "The beeping practically knocks you off your chair," Joanna Newell '05 said.

Caryn Cording '05 noted how the library will need to buy a VHS and DVD de-sensitizer because the new system is so sensitive. "It is set off from students going in and out [with VHS and DVD's]" she said.

Although louder beeps from the detection security system may now fill the library, students no longer need to worry about cell phone noise while trying to study.

"The suggestion box was deluged with complaints about cell phones," Geffert said, mentioning that the level of response was so big that an electronic cell phone signal blocker was considered.

Cording also noted student complaints and remembers a time during her shift when two students were yelling over each other, each trying to be heard on a cell phone, in Rolvaag's inner lobby.

The new pink, anti-cell phone signs received "skeptical looks" from students at first, but Cording thinks the signs have helped.

While the purchase of an electronic cell phone signal blocker has not been completely rejected, Geffert hopes that the new signs and student cooperation will take care of the problem.





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