February 26, 2010 — "Carry the Card" is a phrase you’ll hear and see a lot beginning Monday [March 1] at all Springfield-Greene County Libraries and the bookmobile. It's our campaign to educate adult patrons about a new policy for checking out materials or accessing your library account information.
Most patrons use either their library card or a valid photo ID for library business. In the past, we have also permitted patrons who didn’t have their card or ID to check out materials or access their account by providing their name, address and telephone number.
That practice changes on Monday with the new policy: Patrons 18 years of age or older who wish to check out materials, access the Internet on public computers or get account information will be required to present their library card, or show a valid photo ID. As an alternative, a library staff member must be able to verify their identity.
We realize this may inconvenience some patrons for a while. But we anticipate that "Carrying the Card" will become a habit just like carrying a driver’s license when driving, or a credit card and photo ID when shopping.
We’re adopting more stringent measures out of concern for the security of our patrons’ accounts, and to protect library materials – the taxpayers’ library materials.
Your library card is your ticket to free movies, books, music CDs, access to the Internet, databases and more. In your hands, it’s a valuable passport. In the wrong hands, it’s a threat to your account, your security and your privacy.
Cases of identity theft are rising worldwide. The district has also seen an increase in the number of people using "stolen" library account numbers to check out valuable materials that are never returned, or to access the Internet on public computers. That’s a form of identity theft, too.
The library realizes it’s no longer safe to let a person access an account with minimal information – a name, address and phone number. We believe requiring a library card, or a valid photo ID, or recognition by a staff member makes sense in today’s world.
You can help protect your privacy and your account, too. Just "Carry the Card."
Kathleen O’Dell is community relations director of the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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