MONROE, NY - Monroe Free Library will protect
its cardholders' accounts with photo identification beginning in
April, library executives announced today.
When a library employee scans a patron's card,
the same staff monitor that displays the patron's home address and
phone number will now show a one-inch photograph.
"We've wanted this for years," said Executive
Director Marilyn McIntosh. "And it's for the same reason that
clerks check IDs at Costco and the YMCA - because we want to make
sure it's really you."
The change that made it possible was an update
last year to the computer software that the library uses to check
out books and other materials. For the first time, the updated
software was able to store image files inside borrowers' records.
The photos are stored on a secure, closed
network maintained by the Ramapo Catskill Library System (RCLS),
the same agency that stores other secure library data (such as
personal information and borrowing records). Patrons who decline
to be photographed will be asked to sign a waiver agreeing that
they can't contest fines accrued by unauthorized use of their