Library updates building security system

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The Carnegie Public Library in Washington Court House gained new eyes this month – security cameras throughout the building.

The digital video cameras were added this month. These cameras are a modest but impactful addition to the library’s existing security system, which has been in place for more than 15 years.

“Libraries are public buildings, open to all,” Sarah Nichols, library director, said. “This important part of our mission can leave us vulnerable at times. My hope is that the addition of the cameras will serve, first and foremost, as a deterrent to undesired activity. Secondly, it allows the library and law enforcement recourse should an incident take place.”

The library board of trustees approved the purchase of the cameras in March of this year for the safety and security of the library’s patrons and staff. Since 2009, the library has operated on greatly reduced funding, and while the budget remains slim, this was a necessary expenditure, according to Nichols.

After increasing safety measures and consulting with law enforcement in 2017, strategically placed cameras were the next logical step. Many public libraries in the region, state and nation utilize security systems, cameras and personnel. Fortunately, the local Carnegie Public Library is also in close proximity to downtown and local law enforcement facilities.

“We are grateful for our Washington Police Department and Fayette County Sheriff’s Office,” Nichols said. “They are consistently professional, responsive and effective when called upon at our Washington Court House and Jeffersonville locations. Additionally, the Washington Police Department has provided timely educational opportunities to our library staff. “

The library maintains and enforces “Rules of Behavior” so library patrons and families may utilize resources in a safe and welcoming environment, said Nichols.

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