As of Monday, St Andrews students are now required to scan their University ID cards to enter and leave the Main Library. The introduction of new ‘access control gates’ are aimed to “improve the safety and security of all Library users and staff,” the Library website states.
If students cannot produce an ID card, then a day pass may be issued, after identification checks and a form are completed. Only three day passes will be issued per calendar year.
Following its redevelopment over the summer, this is just one of several moves to improve the Library. This improvement scheme is set to continue throughout next summer, with the most obvious change being the complete overhaul of levels one and two, which nears completion with the installment of the security gates.
Other changes include later opening hours – the Library is now open until 2am, Sunday through Thursday; the new café – aptly named “1413”; and the movement towards a more automated service so staff can spend more time providing assistance to customers.
Some students have welcomed the introduction of the gates, feeling it will increase overall security in the Library and the surrounding area, especially in light of the later hours.
One second year Maths student, Jennifer Gibson, commented that the introduction of the gates was in keeping with the new design of the Library and could only “help improve the safety of St Andrews students and staff”.
Others, however, remain unconvinced. Several have expressed concern over the gates, and the inevitable queues they feel would occur over busy periods. There are also questions as to how exactly the day pass system would work, as the Library is not manned for the entirety of its opening hours.
A second year Management student pointed out that “you can’t take a book out of the Library without a card anyway or log onto a computer without a university username and password” and wondered “what the University is actually gaining by this”.
In total, the University has set aside £14 million in a commitment to update the Library structure, storage and the Library collection itself.