May 23, 2022

Harvard Libraries Launches Pilot Program to Improve Collection Security and Speed Up Exit Times

From The Harvard Crimson:

A new program entitled “Secure Exit” was installed in Widener and Lamont Libraries on Jan. 13 to help speed up exit times and improve security. The program utilizes a barcode scanner that security guards can use to check whether books are cleared to leave the library.

Secure Exit was developed by Harvard’s Library Technology Services from a basic plan created by Joshua Parker, head of access services for humanities and social sciences. The program was made to replace what librarians call the “stamp and slip” method, by which due dates are stamped on slips of paper inside the books.


Besides shortening exit times, another primary goal of the new program is to ensure the security of the collections.

Read the Complete Article

More From the Harvard U. Library Web Site: 

“Secure Exit will eliminate the need for doorcheckers to inspect the physical date stamp on each item,” said Matthew Sheehy, head of AS. “Additionally, the real-time interactivity between the circulation data and the item will improve collection security.”

Secure Exit is being launched in Widener and Lamont as a pilot; the results will inform a decision on whether to expand the service to other HCL libraries that perform bag inspections.

See Also: Harvard Library Technology Services Web Site

See Also: Chart: Active Harvard Library Technology Service Projects (as of Feb. 3. 2014; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.