Winnipeg's Millennium Library started using a new security system in February 2019.
In connection with the increase in incidents and threats, the library decided to check visitors' bags for metal objects or alcohol when they enter the building. City officials say the new security system is a necessary measure.
However, do all residents of the city like innovations?
Lara Rae comes to this library all her life. For her, this is a place where she can read, think and feel completely safe.
"Since I was a child, the library has been a safe, happy space. And as someone who has dealt with mood disorders, emotional regulation and attention issues for decades, I like spaces where I feel safe. That's why I'm almost always at the Millennium Library."
The woman held many activities for the library and donated more than $3000.
"Now, when I am asked as a regular library patron if the downtown library has changed recently, I say emphatically "yes."
Rae admitted that now she feels insecure in the library for the first time during 25 years. When she was in line to check things out, several more women stood behind her, who were clearly frightened.
"And I was not the only one — a few elderly women with walkers, who looked terrified, waited behind me. One male senior citizen just turned and left. He was red-faced and appeared embarrassed. "
When another time she entered the library in the evening, the building was completely empty. As the woman believes, the new security system is the cause of that situation. People no longer feel confident, and now prefer to go to other places.
"I have confirmed this sense of emptiness with a few other regular patrons. So, while some might have a perception of increased safety and this is all, at the end of the day, that any security policies afford us, it comes at a cost. To be blunt, I suppose I felt safer. But I sure as heck did not feel comfortable."