Library Complained about Poor Security Before Artwork Disappeared

Library Complained about Poor Security Before Artwork Disappeared

Two prints valued at more than $600,000 have gone missing from the Boston Public Library, and the library’s largest union had predicted the incident ahead of time. The president of the American Federation of State Country and Municipal Employees Local 1526, Elissa Cadillic, said that construction workers and patrons have been found in restricted areas of the library during an ongoing renovation.

She said that elevators are not supposed to open onto employee-only floors without an access key, yet they have sometimes been reprogrammed to accommodate construction workers. That misstep has allowed people to get into areas where secure material is stacked, both in the Johnson Building and the McKim Building of the library.

“We have found patrons wandering around our nonpublic areas,” said Cadillic, who works at the library but stressed that she was speaking on behalf of the union. “We have proposed locking down areas, making sure elevators don’t open on floors that they are not supposed to, and making sure security guards are doing what they should be doing.”

Security guards have been added during the construction project, and workers have been required to wear identification badges in order to gain access.

“Any security incident that has been reported by staff has been taken seriously,” said a spokeswoman for the library.

About the Author

Matt Holden is an Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media, Inc. He received his MFA and BA in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He currently writes and edits for Occupational Health & Safety magazine, and Security Today.

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