Chesterton Tribune



Photohoto ID a step closer at library

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The Westchester Public Library (WPL) will soon begin photographing library patrons and using the photos to verify patrons’ identity at check-out

The photo will help staff in a number of ways, WPL said in a statement released this week:

* Photos will prevent someone from using a lost or stolen card and running up charges on a patron’s account.

* Staff will be able to identify patrons and let them check out materials even if they’ve forgotten to bring their library cards with them.

* Photos will permit staff to quickly identify both children and adults in the library in the event of an emergency.

* And photos will help staff identify patrons who’ve been banned from the library for misconduct or observed committing theft or vandalism in the library.

“Photographs will be taken when library cards are renewed or new cards are issued,” WPL said. “All photographs are confidential library records.”

Library patrons can request in writing that the library card photo requirement be waived, stating their reasons for requesting the waiver, WPL noted. If the patron who receives a waiver wishes to check out materials without the library card, or renew a library card, staff will need to see other forms of positive identification in order to verify the patron’s identity. Additional identification required might include a driver’s license, automobile registration, property tax statement, fishing license, voter’s registration card, or a piece of delivered mail.

WPL serves the residents of Westchester Township and has reciprocal borrowing agreements with most of the other public libraries in the area. The towns of Chesterton, Porter, Burns Harbor, and Dune Acres are in the library district, with two branches available to patrons. The main branch, Thomas Library, is located at 200 W. Indiana Ave. in Chesterton (926-7696). Hageman Branch is located at 100 Francis St. in Porter (926-9080).


Posted 5/15/2014