Letter: Security at the British Library

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a reader at the British Library, I decided to take advantage of a tour round the new British Library recently. While having much sympathy with many of the problems that have occurred, I was horrified to learn of the lack of security that is being planned in the new building. There are going to be closed-circuit televisions, but there are no plans to search people leaving the reading rooms or building, because of a lack of funds.

I was told that 'bags' probably will not be allowed into the reading rooms and that this token measure should be enough to discourage thieves. I was dismayed at the navety of this remark, since as a bookseller of many years standing, I know full well that 'bags' are not necessary for stealing books.

This is a classic example of false economy and I beg the powers that be to think again before they allow British Library books to wander the streets of London.

Yours faithfully,

SARAH ANDERSON

London, W11

30 September

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