Taking Action

Letter, Martin Massengale to Esther Cope

  After receiving pressure from the women at UNL and numerous individuals such as Senator Wesely, Chancellor M. A. Massengale finally decided to take action and make Love Library a safer environment for students, staff, and faculty.  In two separate letters, one to Professor Esther S. Cope of the Department of History and another to all members of the University community, Chancellor Messengale detailed the steps being taken to make UNL a safe learning environment.  It had become evident that the already in place safety programs, such as the Rape Prevention Program that is held in every dorm at the beginning of the fall semesters and the escort services were not enough to keep campus safe and secure.  In Love Library, security would be uniformed and there would be increased frequency and visibility of the security as well as police personnel, the lighting would be improved, emergency phones would be installed, and the use of surveillance equipment such as cameras and communication devices would be implemented.  The security improvements were not only present at Love Library, but also at Nebraska Hall and in the Engineering Library.  “At Nebraska Hall, the exterior locks have been changed (the policy for issuing keys is currently being considered), a gate has been installed in the Engineering Library, and a guard is posted at the north door from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. daily.”  With these improvements, the University had begun to have actual security on campus, rather than just programs that raised awareness of its dangers. 

Security Devices Installed

  By July of 1983 Love Library was well on its way to becoming the safest library it could be.  The light switches were removed in several parts of the stacks to ensure that no student would be left in the dark, convex mirrors were placed in the stairwells to allow students to see around corners as well as alarms that alert workers at the circulation desk when someone enters them, television cameras were to be installed that linked to the guard’s desk, as well as still cameras that were ready to record any suspicious activity.  Many of these safety measures are still visible today, and continue to be effective in reducing crime on campus.