Safe, Secure, and Welcoming Libraries at USC


To: USC Community

From: Dean Catherine Quinlan, USC Libraries
Chief John Thomas, USC Department of Public Safety

Date: August 17, 2018

Subject: Safe, Secure, and Welcoming Libraries at USC

The USC Libraries recently conducted a review of library security procedures across our campuses. The review covered building-access policies, our capacity to respond to security situations, staffing, hours of operation, and recent events nationally and locally. It identified areas in which revised procedures would serve as a deterrent and better prepare us to respond to security concerns.

As a result of the review, and in consultation with the Joint Provost-Academic Senate Libraries Committee, the libraries and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) have developed new security procedures for accessing library buildings. While our primary responsibility is to contribute to the achievements of USC students, faculty, and staff, the USC Libraries have been and remain open to local students, community members, families, and other guests who are not affiliated with the university but who use our libraries for study and research.

To maintain a welcoming environment that is safe and productive for everyone who uses, visits, and works in our libraries, the following requirements for entering Doheny, Leavey, and VKC Libraries will take effect as of September 4, 2018:

– USC students, faculty, and staff will be required to scan a valid USCard. This is similar to the current process for entering Leavey Library after 9:00 p.m.

– Visitors who are not affiliated with USC will be required to present a valid government-issued ID, or ID from another college, university, or school, which will allow access until 9:00 p.m.

– Visitors who are not affiliated with USC and who do not have any of those forms of identification may request a temporary library pass at Doheny Library at the time of their visit. The pass will permit access to USC library buildings until 9:00 p.m. each day the pass is valid. This is similar to current procedures for public access to library computers, which require visitors to request temporary logins for academic purposes.

– For tour groups, if part of a USC program, the tour leader will be required to present a current USCard; for groups not affiliated with USC, the leader will be required to present one of the alternative IDs listed above.

– For families, only a single family member will be required to present an appropriate form of ID.

DPS Community Service Officers will be stationed at entrances and exits to help administer the new procedures. We will evaluate the guidelines and make necessary adjustments throughout the fall, after which we will develop plans for implementing similar procedures at other USC branch libraries. We are among the last of our peer institutions to implement ID requirements, and our revised procedures are more closely aligned with those of research libraries of similar size and complexity.

We are grateful to the Joint Provost-Academic Senate Libraries Committee and the faculty and staff who helped inform and improve the revised guidelines. We encourage feedback and questions, and we hope you will get in touch with either of us directly or through or Your feedback is important as we work to maintain a welcoming, secure environment for our USC community, a global body of scholars, researchers, and lifelong learners in nearby communities and throughout Los Angeles.


Academic Deans
Academic Senate
Joint Provost-Academic Senate Libraries Committee
Staff Assembly

PDF: Safe, Secure, and Welcoming Libraries