On Jan. 28, Megan Miller was assaulted by another student while she was studying on the fourth floor of the Main Library.
Miller, a senior majoring in Spanish, said the student, whom she didn't know, grabbed her by the wrists and told Miller he loved her. He had assaulted another female student a few minutes before he went after Miller. The student was arrested and charged with assault in both cases.
Miller said she never felt unsafe in the library until now, and she thinks more should be done to protect students.
"There's no control system over who comes in and out of the library," she said.
In order to address Miller's and other students' concerns, UAPD officers and library officials handed out brochures last week to students and faculty with tips on how to be secure in the library.
The brochures outlined ways students could protect themselves and gave students options on who they should contact if they're in a situation where they feel unsafe.
Nancy Barr, a library supervisor, said the brochures were passed out in response to students who feel the library is unsafe. Barr said a committee decided to give out the brochures after students responded to surveys, saying they feel the library is not a safe environment.
"In the most recent surveys, we realized there was a perception by student that the library is not a safe place," said Barr.
Barr said this perception has grown even though the number of incidents in the library that needed to be reported to police has gone down.
Sgt. Eugene Mejia, UAPD spokesman, said the library is not an unsafe place and major crimes usually do not occur there.
"The crimes are mostly property-related," he said, "People will take items of value that have been left unattended."
He added that the brochures were meant to help prevent crime in the library.
"We're taking a proactive approach before something does happen," he said.
Miller said that earlier on Jan. 28, an older man approached her and asked for money. She said that had happened before.
Senad Mustafic, an international business sophomore from the former Yugoslavia, said the library is extremely safe compared to other international campuses he has visited. Mustafic said he has never had a problem in the UA library.
But Sara Stewart, an animal science junior, said she goes to the library at least three times per week and usually feels safe.
But she said she wished there was more security at the library, especially during busy weeks.
She said she felt the number of homeless people in the library was out of control.
"They're always sleeping in chairs or using the computers in the (Integrated Learning Center) to go into chat rooms," she said.
Stewart said she felt the library should be reserved for people who are trying to learn.
Barr said the library is a public library, as part of the UA's land grant mission, but that students and faculty have priority when using computers or books. Barr said this policy is enforced, especially when the library is busy.
"We do ask people to show us their CatCards; if they don't have one, they have to give up their computer," Barr said.
The library also has a policy of letting only UA students and faculty use the library between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays.
Barr said they have had to escort non-students who have generally been sleeping in the library out of the building during these hours.
Mejia said homeless people have a right to be in the library, unless they have committed a crime.
He said when a crime has been committed at the library by either a student or a non-student, it is up to library staff to decide if that person will lose access to the library or the ILC.
Barr said losing access to the library depends on the situation and the seriousness of the crime.
Students have a responsibility to report any incidents that might be making them uncomfortable while at the library, Barr said.
"Students have to be the one to make the reports," she said, "After that, we'll be happy to help in any way we can."