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Keep your stuff safe in the Libraries

We are delighted that students use our facilities to study, to conduct research, and to prepare group projects. It is our privilege that so many people find the libraries supportive of their academic needs and comfortable places for individual or group work.

Yet we recognize that as a library system situated across four large cities, we are not immune to the problems that can plague people in urban areas. It is our responsibility to remind users to exercise caution and common sense with their valuable electronic devices when visiting the libraries.

A recent small rash of laptop thefts in the libraries in New Brunswick/Piscataway underscores our concern.

In the interest of protecting your valued possessions, we offer three strong recommendations.

1) Don't leave your laptop, cell phone, iPod, or other devices alone - even for a few seconds.

As experience has shown, the time it takes you to run and get a snack, make a quick call in the stairwell, or use the bathroom is more than enough time for a thief to walk off with your device.

2) Don't assume that library staff will watch your possessions.

Library staff members are often busy addressing the questions and needs of other users and are understandably very distracted.
Due to the nature of their work, library staff may also be asked by a user or a library supervisor to search for an item in another area on short notice. They cannot wait until you return to your study area.

3) Appoint a trusted guardian or take it with you

Whenever possible, have a friend or acquaintance watch your electronics while you step away. But if you do not see a friend or acquaintance nearby, take your devices with you - into the bathroom, to the copy center, into the stairwell, or wherever else you go.

We do our best to make your visit to our facilities a successful one. With your help, you will leave the library with both valuable new insights and all the devices you brought with you.

Posted January 18, 2011