CBC: Edmonton Public Library Sees Significant Increase in Security Incidents
From the CBC:
Edmonton librarians saw a significant increase in distressed customers last year, according to a recent report on security trends and costs.
The preliminary report, which Edmonton Public Library quickly prepared for Edmonton city council during budget deliberations last month, said 2,770 security incidents had occurred at public library branches from the beginning of 2022 until Nov. 27.
Only a very small fraction of EPL visits became security incidents, the report notes.
In an interview on Tuesday, Pilar Martinez, EPL chief executive officer, said the number of security incidents this year is the highest it has been during the library’s history of tracking them.
“It’s really a symptom of what we’re seeing in our society overall, across North America and in Edmonton, and particularly in the downtown core,” she said, citing mental health, addiction and homelessness as contributing factors to the increase.
Other urban libraries in Canada and the U.S. are also grappling with security issues and opioid poisonings, Martinez said.
She is chairing a Canadian Urban Libraries Council working group on safety on security, which has a meeting scheduled for Thursday. Representatives from large libraries across North America also discussed the issue at a November meeting of the Urban Libraries Council.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.