ID Checks Coming to FSU's Strozier Library

Three weeks after the rape of an employee at FSU's Strozier Library, the university is implementing some new security measures.

You'll now need to show a photo i-d to enter and required computer passwords will be coming soon, but not soon enough for one student, who raised a red flag about safety at Strozier six months ago.

Starting Monday, students using FSU's Strozier Library, must show a photo id to get in and if the general public wants access to the computers or the stacks, they'll have to take it a step further.

"All those not members of the FSU community will have to show a form of photo identification and will have to fill out a form as to why they're using the library," said Associate Dean of Libraries Rebecca Bichel. Bichel says the library must remain open to the public because it is a depository for federal documents.

The library has implemented hourly security checks, added an extra security officer at night, and is considering installing a blue light help phone, she said.

This comes on the heels of an attack on the fourth floor in which a library employee says she was raped by a man in the middle of the afternoon.

"I mean after hearing what happened, that's just ridiculous and they should keep track of who's in there," said FSU student Lauren Bedford.

"I don't know how much good checking in everyone will do," said FSU student Andrea Castillo, "It's kind of like airport security. I mean you can do all these little time wasting things, but how safe does it really make you?"

"We use it to get in our dorms and everything, but we don't use it here and it is a public place, there's people who just walk up out of nowhere," said FSU student Allison Ratliff.

The security upgrades, though welcome, are too little too late for FSU senior Bambi Griffin. She sent a lengthy e-mail to the library director and two university vice presidents back in May warning of lax security at the library after she says her complaints about a man viewing pornography were largely ignored by library staff.

"I was concerned that something like this would happen and finally it did happen and I'm mad because it was preventable. It was forseeable and they didn't do anything about it," Griffin said.

The emails were sent to Director of Libraries Julia Zimmerman, Vice President for Student Affairs Mary Coburn, Vice President for University Relations Lee Hinkle and General Counsel Betty Steffans.
Among other questions, Griffin asked "Where are the standards and the sense of duty to the students of this school? What about the safety concerns?"

Griffin said she received responses from all of them, including promises that changes were on the way, but then nothing happened.

LT Jason Trumbower with FSU Police says an intense security audit is underway at Strozier to determine if changes in layout, lighting and more are necessary to reduce opportunities for crooks. That audit should be ready in a few weeks.

Trumbower says there are no suspects yet in the October attack and this weekend, they're offering a rape defense course to library employees.

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