Cook Memorial Officials Weigh Putting Panic Buttons in Libraries -BYLN- by Russell Lissau Rlissau@dailyherald.Com

Article excerpt

officials may purchase panic buttons for employees.

Library Director Stephen Kershner said he began thinking about upgrading security after the expansion of Cook Park Library in Libertyville and the building of Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills Library, both completed last year.

Libraries are open places where hundreds of people come and go every day, Kershner said, and some visitors can be dangerous.

"At my first library job, we had encounters that turned violent," Kershner said. "There are safety considerations because we're open buildings."

The buttons would likely be wireless and could be placed at high-profile spots such as the reference or circulation desks, Kershner said. They often look like garage-door openers.

If a librarian were to activate one, an alarm would be sent to the district's security company and to police, Kershner said.

Kershner came to Cook Memorial about two years ago from the library system in Florida, where he oversaw seven libraries as the assistant director for public services. …