Library crosswalk closed due to book theft concern

By Louise M. Koryta

During the past six years, many NIU students might have wondered why the $2 million crosswalk between Founders Memorial Library and Swen Parson’s law library is closed.

The crosswalk was built by the same structural engineering firm that built the skywalks which collapsed in the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel in 1981. The library crosswalk also was closed in 1981, but the two incidents are not related, said Dia Hart, library information desk employee.

art said the crosswalk was closed because it would be expensive to install a monitoring system to prevent books not checked out from being taken from the library.

Byron Anderson, general reference librarian, said the crosswalk was built in 1978, before the administration knew there would be a law school.

Anderson said if the crosswalk is reopened, the law library also would have to install a monitoring system because the libraries use different systems to check out materials.

A staff member other than a student would be needed to guard the exit, Anderson said. He said the monitor would have to be someone in authority because of the risks involved if a patron is caught trying to steal a book and decided to “make a run for it.”

Anderson said future use of the crosswalk depends on the administration, which is responsible for making decisions involving the library.