New Turnstile System Will Limit Library Access to Authorized Users

A turnstile security system will require swipe of valid IDs. (Photo: Amanda M. Gordon)

by Amanda Gordon


Students need it to get into shows on campus, to use the pool in the Physical Education Building, and to check out books in the library. Soon, students will need it to just walk into the library…

It’s the Student ID card and in the near future it will be more vital than ever to ensure that it is on you at all times, especially if you need to access any of the tools or resources in the library.

The security system, located at the main entrance of the library, consists of three turnstiles and the security measure will require the swipe of a valid ID to allow people to pass, similarly to the turnstiles in the subway systems or amusement parks. Without the ID or proper identification that proves that an individual belongs on campus, they can be turned away.

“The intent of the system is to improve security measures within the library, by limiting library access to the users authorized to access the library,” said Director of Physical Plant Robert Cirillo. (Authorized users here means current students, staff, and professors.)

On page 59 of the Student Handbook the policy on carrying your student ID reads “you may be asked to show your card to an administrator or to security.” Given this information, students might not have any ground to stand on should they disagree with the newest security measure, however.

“Why are they just now doing this?” asked WCC Student Shimar Garriques, who went on to explain that there are many people who come to campus who are not students and the timeliness of the security upgrade didn’t make sense.

The WCC library also serves as a public library within the county. However, those visiting to check out books or to use the computers can be provided a day pass at the Security Desk located in the library’s main entrance, a minor hindrance in their visitation.

While the system is in place, it’s currently not in full operation. At the beginning of the school year the system was tested, but experienced some technical difficulties. Of the three turnstiles that were programed with the identification system, only two were in operation.

“We are now working with the vendor on repairing the third turnstile,” said Director of College Community Relations Patrick Hennessey. “Once that is fixed, we will test the machines again before using them.”

Currently, there is no given time frame when the college can expect the security system to be in full operation, but the goal is to have the turnstiles in effect before the semester ends. If the system is successful, the security turnstiles may have a dual purpose.

“We’ll see how they work in terms of reading student ID cards once they are fixed. Later in the semester, we intend to use them for students to check out books,” said Hennessey.

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