Letter to the Editor

Libraries can’t prevent theft

If you read The Hatchet Oct. 18, you may have heard about my position as the Student Liaison at The George Washington University libraries. My job, in a nutshell, is to look out for the students who use the library. In an attempt to do that, I’m asking you all to do one very important thing while you’re in the library.

Please, do not leave your belongings unattended for any amount of time.

As you know, laptop theft has become an issue, as reported by The Hatchet Oct. 25. In the library, you create the perfect crime of opportunity when you leave your valuables unattended. It stinks that a private library has to worry about theft, but in any segment of a group or community there are bound to be individuals who take advantage of the trust of others. While the library does all it can to prevent these incidences, no amount of video surveillance or even 3D vision or ESP can help us prevent theft in every corner of the library. The only true way to protect your belongings from the threat of theft is always keeping an eye on them and never leaving them behind.

I understand that after five cups of coffee, packing up all your belongings to run to the bathroom for just a few seconds is no fun. I know you also risk giving up your coveted seat in the library. There are a few solutions for this problem. For laptops, you can look into purchasing a laptop lock. The GW Bookstore sells them for about $30 and Amazon sells them for fewer dollars than the fingers on both your hands. Also – I write this hesitantly as I’m aware of how unpopular loud noises are in libraries – look into free laptop alarm software on Google.

On a recent walk around Gelman, staff noticed 17 laptops unattended and 12 bags with no visible owner in sight. I implore you to think long and hard before you leave such valuables behind. Most importantly, as the saying goes, if you see something, say something. With more vigilance perhaps we can make these evil-doers think twice.

Jennifer Wiley

-The writer is the student liaison for GW libraries.

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