One year later, Knight Library still without lockers

Knight Library placed an order for 63 individual storage lockers for use by students seeking to temporarily secure their personal property last September. They arrived in February, and after installation, the process seemed complete — until an initial-functions check failed to pass.

“When the lockers arrived and we tested them, the electronics in about a third of (them) didn’t work,” recalls Nancy Slight-Gibney, director of Library Research Management & [email protected]@ This was her project, and she had high expectations for the merchandise.

The three walls of lockers were crafted by Excelsior Lock Works in Newark, N.J., and employ state-of-the-art access features. Instead of issuing keys and combinations from the front desk or requiring an individual to provide their own lock, this system has students generate a one-time-use code for the duration of their daily studies. The plan was to put one set on each floor of the north-central stairwell, adjacent to the main floorspace of the building.

These features, which resulted in the current complications, were actually intended to help the library avoid unnecessary work from their staff and potential misbehavior by users of the lockers. Many institutions issue physical keys for lockers and require keeping a log, dealing with loss and replacement of keys and having no ability to prevent reproduction of the keys.

The purchase of the lockers stemmed from a suggestion by students. It is widely understood that there are theft risks associated with the library and that current methods of alleviating them are shaky.

Tess [email protected]@, a senior in sociology, is one of those people who jams everything but the kitchen sink into a backpack and camps out at the library in eight-hour blocks. She agrees that the lockers will be a great improvement over the current honor system.

“I usually wait until someone comes to the table (before I) say, ‘Hey, can you watch my stuff?’” Nastansky said.

The supplier of the lockers took five months to deliver the items and after immediately being notified upon discovery of the malfunctioning units, has — after seven more months — failed to dispatch a technician to evaluate the claim. The lockers were supposed to be unveiled for last year’s fall term. Now the library is hoping to have them up and running by winter term.

University [email protected]@Which administration – Johnson Hall? The library administration?@@ is likely to seek “legal remedies” if a technician does not come in the next few weeks. One remedy would likely include sending the equipment back and selecting an alternate supplier. A last-minute switch in suppliers could mean a simplification of the technology as well.

In order to meet the self-imposed winter term deadline, Slight-Gibney has to consider the students, who have been inconvenienced the most from the “frustrating” delays.

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