Dear Campus Community,
Last month a Library Safety Task Force was convened to evaluate appropriate steps to help ensure that the Dr. Martin King Jr. Library is a safe and secure setting for our students, staff and faculty members, and the public. This action was taken in the wake of recent incidents in the library that understandably elevated safety concerns.
I am writing to update you on its progress.
This task force comprises representatives from Academic Affairs; the University Police Department; Facilities, Development and Operations; Student Affairs and the City of San Jose, under the joint direction of University Library Dean Ruth Kifer and San Jose Public Library Director Jill Bourne.
Ruth and Jill recently met with the President’s Cabinet to discuss safety and security issues in the library and review a series of proposed immediate and long-term recommendations.
Since then, the following actions have been taken:
- The University Police Department has initiated a contract with a private security firm to augment the presence of uniformed security guards in the library. Additional guards will be assigned to the second and third floors of the library. The monitoring of the sixth, seventh and eighth floors will be increased. This enhanced presence will start soon and continue through the end of May.
- After an incident in a second floor restroom, little-used books from the second floor of the library have been relocated to the library’s lower level compact shelving. By the end of May, new lighting will be installed on the second floor and the remaining tall shelving will be removed to allow better visibility of the entire space by staff working at the service desk.
- A student advisory group is being formed so that students can voice their concerns about library safety and make recommendations to improve the library spaces. Vice President of Student Affairs Reggie Blaylock is assisting with identifying students to serve on this task force.
We want the library to be a safe space for all users. I will continue to provide updates as the Library Safety Task Force continues with these efforts.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs