In the aftermath of several high-profile thefts and four separate reviews of its procedures, the Bienecke Library at Yale University is taking steps to strengthen its security measures, according to a report in today's Yale Daily News. Based on recommendations from two outside experts and an internal review (a library-wide study is still ongoing), the Bienecke's reading room will now be constantly monitored by video camera, and new staff will be hired to expand the manuscript cataloging unit (in order to alleviate a backlog). Other recommendations include keeping complete records of who has requested and viewed rare materials.
These common-sense security measures can be expensive and time-consuming (and frustrating to patrons). But when it comes to keeping our historical documents and rare books safe from those who would make off with them, the cost of inaction is much greater.