Keeping watch at the library

For many students at Wilfrid Laurier University, the library is their second home — but how safe is it?

After taking a walk around only three of the seven floors, The Cord found over ten laptops and wallets were found laying out in the open and unattended.

Despite there being only four reported thefts this semester, many students have expressed feelings of worry while in the library. Many have heard stories of others being robbed, and feel they are also at risk.

In order to keep students safe in the library, there are 48 security cameras, which Special Constables keeps track of, and an emergency phone on each floor.

According to Chris Hancocks, operations manager for Special Constable Services, people steal from the library because “it’s a crime of opportunity” since so many people leave belongings unattended.

Hancocks advised students to, “Take [your] stuff with you every time you leave if you’re not going to be there.”

The security cameras in the library can only record so much, so there is no way of determining how many thefts actually take place.

“[Students] have to take responsibility for their stuff,” explained Hancocks.
However, Nancy Peltier, administrative manager of WLU’s library, stated that the majority of reported thefts happen during extended hours of exam periods.

To increase security during these times the library has “a security guard that stays in the library from midnight until eight o’clock in the morning,” said Peltier.

“Students don’t think about [being robbed],” explained Peltier. “They are thinking that everyone is trustworthy, and in these days you just can’t trust everyone.”

What many students seem to forget is that WLU’s library is also a public library to patrons who have memberships.

People can come in off the street, and they may not be as respectful as fellow students.

Peltier also explained that if a lot of thefts occur around the same time, the library puts up signs warning students to protect their belongings.

Students should always remember that not everything will be safe all the time just because they’re in a university library.

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