In the workplace, you can never really take enough security measures.

Through the years, we have read about and learned of incidents at businesses and public facilities that sadly have claimed the lives of innocent people and wounded others, often at the hands of disgruntled former employees. It’s an unfortunate reality, and thankfully residents of Bowling Green and Warren County have been spared from incidents such as this. We most certainly hope that that continues to be the case.

But, again, it’s always wise to take certain security measures to keep employees and patrons safe in places where people gather.

One such place that comes to mind where a lot of people gather is a public library. Libraries are wonderful places where we can all gain knowledge from books and get online to see what’s going on in the world.

While they are typically safe places, we believe the Warren County Public Library is taking an appropriate step in seeking to hire security officers to serve its locations, primarily the main branch on State Street.

WCPL officials say the library has experienced some situations lately that would be better managed if a dedicated staff member was a constant presence on the grounds. There have been reports of public intoxication, public disturbances and sexual harassment of library staff and patrons.

We believe security guards, one full time and one part time, could greatly reduce the number of these instances by monitoring the premises, enforcing library policies and being a visible security presence through patrols and interactions with staff and the public.

Lisa Rice, the library’s director, said most libraries in cities the size of Bowling Green already have a security presence.

“Security teams in libraries are very common,” Rice said. “With nearly 15,000 visitors a month in our downtown library, we have reached a point in our system where it makes sense to pursue the hiring of security personnel.”

We couldn’t agree more with Rice on this issue.

WCPL security officers will be asked to report irregularities, coordinate with local law enforcement agencies and respond to emergencies. They will also inform violators of policy and procedures and eject any trespassers. Security officers will be allowed to give violators short-term bans, but bans longer than one week will require approval from Rice.

Rice made a strong case for hiring officers when she made the following comment: “We want everyone to feel safe and comfortable bringing their children and grandchildren to all of our locations and have taken steps to make sure a trip to the library is a family-friendly experience from the moment they enter our parking lot. Some individuals may forget we are a family environment, but most are happy to comply with requests to move to the front of the building to smoke or if the discussion includes more colorful vocabulary. Security will help us be proactive in promoting that family-friendly experience and hopefully assure patrons we take their safety and comfort very seriously.”

Rice is correct. Libraries are a family-friendly experience and location, and they are places where everyone should feel safe, which is what we believe the hiring of these security officers will do: keep them safe.


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