August 20, 2019

Public Libraries: Winnipeg Academics’ Open Letter Urges Change to Millennium Library Security

Note: The Millennium Library is the main library of the Winnipeg Public Library System.

From the CBC:

A group of Winnipeg academics is urging change to new security screening measures at the Millennium Library, which they say contradicts the goal of public libraries and fall hardest on the people who need the library the most.

An open letter from the group of close to 40 faculty members and librarians calls airport-style security screening at the downtown library invasive, demeaning, time-consuming and ultimately exclusionary.

“As academics who live, teach and research in the city of Winnipeg, we find this security screening inimical to goals of public libraries, to the city’s stated goals of reconciliation, and a worrisome departure from evidence-based policy and decision making,” the letter reads.

Mandatory bag checks and metal detectors were introduced at the library in February. Ed Cuddy, manager of library services, has said they’re a response to an increase in the frequency and severity of violent incidents and threats in the library.

The academics from the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg and Universite de Saint-Boniface are adding their voices to others who have protested the barriers since their introduction, including community protest group Millennium for All and University of Winnipeg librarian Brianne Selman, who wrote an open letter on the security measures earlier this month.

Read the Complete Article

Background

Committee Orders Report on Security Incidents at Millennium Library, Alternatives to Security Checkpoint (via CBC; April 4, 2019)

Read-In Participants Protest Against Millennium Library Security Measures (via Global News; April 2, 2019)

Millennium Library Patrons Voice Concerns About New Security Measures (via CTV; March 15, 2019)

Security Tightens at Downtown Library (via Winnipeg Free Press; February 15, 2019)

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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