You are here

Scanner Speeds Lamont, Widener Exit Lines, Improves Collection Security

Secure Exit replaces manual review with scanning.


January 14, 2014— A new procedure, called Secure Exit, will help ease departure lines and improve security at Widener and Lamont libraries.

Secure Exit allows security guards to scan items—instead of manually reviewing them—to ensure that they are checked out before they are removed from a library. The web application, which was developed by Library Technology Services (LTS) and Access Services (AS) staff members in cooperation with Faculty of Arts and Sciences Operations, is expected to ease long exit lines caused by the manual system. 

“Secure Exit will eliminate the need for doorcheckers to inspect the physical date stamp on each item,” said Matthew Sheehy, head of AS. “Additionally, the real-time interactivity between the circulation data and the item will improve collection security.”

This new feature builds on Lamont’s recent effort to shorten lines by adding a second exit lane during peak periods. “This improved procedure balances the library’s security needs with our goal of creating the best user experience,” said Susan Fliss, associate librarian of Harvard College for research, teaching and learning.

Secure Exit is being launched in Widener and Lamont as a pilot; the results will inform a decision on whether to expand the service to other HCL libraries that perform bag inspections.

Joshua Parker, head of AS for humanities and social sciences, and Steven Beardsley, head of AS for professional schools, outlined the application’s requirements. Jarred Graves, AS staff assistant, gathered feedback from library security guards. With LTS, Hank Sway, systems librarian, worked with AS staff to identify primary needs and translate them for coding. Victoria Lin, production systems librarian, did most of the coding. Corinna Baksik, senior systems librarian, and Laura Morse, director of library systems, oversaw the project.