Penn Libraries and the Department of Public Safety are committed to protecting library resources to make sure that the information you need is available when you need it. We can't do this alone. We need your help.
Checkout Your Library Books
From small community libraries to large research libraries like Penn, library material must be checked out before they leaves the building. This allows libraries to manage and keep track of resources. In the case of Penn Libraries, this means keeping track of over 5.5 million volumes. We want you to take full advantage of Penn's vast information resources; just be sure to stop by the Circulation Desk to check material out before leaving the building.
Library Exit Procedure
So you stopped at the Circulation Desk to check out your library books, now you want to take them home. How do the security guards at the library exit know which books are checked out to you and which are not? For many years, libraries including Penn have used "due date stamps". These stamps mark a card or a paper in the back of the book with the date the item is due back at the library. Sometimes, like in the picture to the right, this is easier said than done. And what happens when you renew the book online? Due date stamps have served libraries well, but in our modern world, there are better and easier ways to meet this need. New technology is being piloted at the Van Pelt Library exit that allows security guards to quickly scan library books. If the book is checked out, the guard will pass it around the security gates and you are on your way. If the book is not checked out, a red light on the desk will come on. If that happens, they will ask you to return to the Circulation Desk to check out the material. For any material that does not circulate (cannot be used outside of the library), the red light will always come on when scanned.
What About Bag Checks?
Bag checks for everyone leaving the library are still required. Bag checks are to insure that information resources and your personal property is protected from theft. We are reviewing these procedures to establish best practices that balance ease of use with security. If you have concerns about the library bag check policy, please contact the library.