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Chapter 8: Safety

Patrons with Problems vs. Problem Patrons

The library divides problem encounters into two types: patrons with problems and problem patrons. Patrons with problems are just like you and me when we are having a bad day, car trouble, too much to do and too little time to do it in, or even something as simple as unrealistic expectations of what a public institution can provide. These people should be responded to as sympathetically as possible. We also offer our hospitality to people who have nowhere else to go during a large portion of the day. We do our best to accommodate them up to the point where they disturb other patrons. REMEMBER--Service is an Attitude.

Problem patrons may deserve some sympathy, but they tend to disrupt our activities and to abuse the privilege of library service. A problem patron is someone who disrupts the library, damages library property, or threatens library staff and patrons. The Library, because of its image as a quiet place, may attract some problem people who feel they can spend a lot of time here without being noticed. They can read, or pretend to read, while their real objective is something different. If you observe ANYONE whose behavior seems strange to you, report him or her to your supervisor or the person in charge of the circulation desk IMMEDIATELY. The patron in question may be someone the staff needs to watch closely.

University Blood Procedure

If a student employee should come upon an accident in the library and there is evidence of blood, they need to seek the assistance of the closest full-time library employee. The staff member and the student employee should follow the university's blood procedure:

A) Cordon off the area so that people are not walking through the location of the blood spill. Tape should be used to provide a barrier to persons approaching that area from either direction.

B) Get in touch with a custodian. The custodians are responsible for cleaning up the area. They are also responsible for disposing of any residue from an accident such as cloth used in absorbing spilled blood, etc. The reason for referring clean up to the custodians is that they have received specific training in how to clean up the results of a blood spill. The byproducts of an accident are not to go into the general trash such as the dumpster. They are disposed of separately.

Safety on Campus

There are times when you may leave the Library late at night either because you are working at a service desk or studying. Your personal safety is important to us. Walking with someone, planning your route home along well-lighted paths, and carrying a cell phone are a few ways that you can be safer on campus. The following are services provided by UNI Public Safety:

Escort Service

If you feel uncomfortable walking to your car or to the Residence Halls alone, you can utilize the UNI Safety Escort Service. UNI Public Safety (phone 3-2712) will offer safety escorts to any community member between locations on campus. Feel free to call to protect your safety.


Blue Light Phones

There are ten blue light phones throughout the UNI campus. The phones connect directly to the Public Safety communications center with the touch of a button. When activated, a blue strobe light will flash to indicate the location for responding Public Safety Officers and to deter criminal activity. Blue light locations are:

  • North Dome Lot
  • South Art Lot (South of the McLeod Center )
  • North of the Curris Business Building
  • East of 23rd St. Market
  • South East Corner of Baker Hall Lot
  • North of Lang Hall
  • Between Gilchrist and the Greenhouse
  • North of the Industrial Technology Center
  • North of ROTH
  • Between CEEE and the bridge to University Apartments/ROTH

Public Safety Tips

(Information in this section is used with permission of the Director of UNI Public Safety.)

On Campus

  • Don't walk alone, always walk in a group or with a friend. If you do not have someone with whom to walk, contact one of the UNI escort services.
  • Choose well-lighted paths, avoid shortcuts. If you see an area light out, please report it to the Physical Plant 273-4400.
  • Be Aware! If you believe someone is following you, occasionally look behind you. Immediately head for the nearest Public Safety phone, lighted building, or group of people.
  • Don't give your name to strangers... or your telephone number.
  • If you carry cash, don't flash it. The same goes for ATMs. Use extra caution when using an ATM, by checking the surroundings for suspicious persons.
  • Contact Public Safety to receive information on personal safety or crime prevention materials.

In the Residence Halls

  • Never loan or give your room keys to anyone.
  • Don't block open residence hall doors! You never know who may enter, it is dangerous to you and everyone else in the building.
  • Don't leave your room or go to sleep with your door unlocked.
  • If you live on the ground floor of the dorms, lock your windows when you leave.
  • If you are on an elevator with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable, exit as soon as possible. Don't take any unnecessary risks.
  • Be careful when you use the bathroom or visit the lounge late at night, always lock your doors.
  • Discuss these safety tips with your roommate. If only one of you are being safe, what about the other 50% of the time?
  • Report the loss of your keys immediately. UNI Public Safety (x3-2712) has a large lost and found, they may be there.
  • If you believe safety is being compromised in your building, tell your RA or Hall Coordinator.
  • Candles and incense are considered fire hazards and are not allowed in the dorms.
  • The resale of alcohol to others is always illegal. Even if they are over 21, this is a misdemeanor offense known as bootlegging. Don't take chances!

Parking Lots

  • When approaching your parked car, have your keys ready and check the interior of your car making sure no one is inside your car before you enter.
  • As soon as you are inside your car, lock all your doors.
  • Utilize the Public Safety phones in the North Dome (Siberia) and the South Art (Dike) Lots to call for a Public Safety escort.
  • Anticipate when you will return to your car- if it is after dark, park beneath a light.


  • Use bike racks on campus. They are safer because they are lighted and in plain view. This means that a thief is less likely to risk theft and attackers are wary if they don't have a place to hide. These bike racks are considered the only allowable place to chain your bike outside, and they are definitely the safest.
  • Bikes locked to trees may be impounded by the Department of Public Safety.
  • Record the serial number and a physical description (make, model, and color) of the bike. Keep the sales receipt.
  • Register your bike with the Cedar Falls Police Department 273-8612.
  • Always lock up your bike. Even if it is inside a building, lock up the room that contains it. Never secure your bike to objects like a chain-link fence, they can easily be cut.
  • Get a high quality lock and use more than one lock to secure components. If you have a quick-release front tire or seat, lock it or take it with you.
  • Lights, bags and cycling computers are easy to steal, so consider removing them when not in use.
  • Ride smart and safely. Use signals, be aware of car doors, and remember to announce yourself to pedestrians on campus and in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Protect Your Car

  • Always Lock! If it is easy for you to get in, it will be easy for others too.
  • Windows should always be rolled up completely. A criminal can force windows.
  • A car in well-lighted and traveled area is difficult and risky to steal.
  • Mark all stereos or other car accessories with an identifying number, if they are stolen, their description and identifying number can be loaded into the National Criminal Information Computer, available to departments all over the United States.
  • Don't leave valuable items in view. Put bags and boxes in the trunk and use a stereo with a removable faceplate. Don't ever leave a cellular phone or CD player out!
  • If you have a Parking Hang-Tag, always lock your doors. If it is stolen, report it immediately to UNI Parking at 273-3179.

Property Safety

  • Mark your property by engraving or recording the serial number so it can be identified. If they are stolen, their description and identifying number can be loaded into the National Criminal Information Computer, available to departments all over the United States.
  • In the Library, Union, or academic class rooms, don't leave any property unattended, even for a minute. Books are usually stolen at the start and end of the semester for resale.
  • At work, arrange to lock your purse or bag up. Don't leave your belongings open for thieves.
  • Keep a record of all your valuables, a picture of jewelry or other highly valuable items is essential.
  • In the locker room, always lock your locker. It is an easy way to prevent wallet theft.

Harassing Phone Calls

  • Harassing phone calls are a crime.
  • Public Safety can trace harassers phone calls, but timely reporting is a must.
  • If you get a persistent harassing caller, understand their psychology, they want you mad. Don't get mad, just calmly hang up the phone. Don't let them win.
  • If the phone call is threatening, contact Public Safety (x3-2712 immediately. Don't take any risks.
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