Widener Rejects I.D. Testing, Asks for New Faculty Cards
Widener Library yesterday rejected as too slow equipment designed to prevent fraudulent book borrowing by holders of valid bursars cards who are no longer affiliated with the University, a library official said yesterday.
Instead, Widener asked the Office of Fiscal Services (OFS) to replace the more than 5000 five-year bursars cards it mailed last month to faculty members and some senior University staff.
Some recipients of the so-called "10/80" cards, which are valid through October 1980, no longer hold Corporation appointments or are scheduled to leave Harvard during the 1970s.
However, R. Jerrold Gibson '51, director of the OFS, said yesterday his office does not plan to remake the cards, which would cost approximately $3000.
Making new cards with a different color would not change the problem, he said, because the OFS would still have to use its name and address file, which caused the initial inaccuracies.
Gibson said he will give all libraries a list of those former faculty members who have not returned the 10/80 cards. The list will be ready by Wednesday or Thursday of this week, he said.
The equipment rejected by Widener reads and encodes the magnetic stripe on Harvard bursars cards. Gibson said Friday that Harvard will gradually require that this stripe carry a validation code which will require updating annually.
With all I.D. cards encoded, Harvard could place electronic readers at libraries, dining halls, and health services to check the validity of 10/80 and student cards, Gibson said.
Yesterday Gibson appeared to retreat from his two predictions made Friday. While insisting that the magnetic stripe is an "idea whose time has come," he also said that Harvard now has the flexibility to decide whether to reissue cards annually or use the magnetic stripe.
But he added that annual production of cards would happen "over my dead body," stressing the cost of making thousands of the 50-cent cards.
The Office of Fiscal Services tested its equipment for validating I.D. cards yesterday at Widener's circulation desk, where 10/80 holders were given a chance to have the stripe on their cards receive the annual validation code.
However, library officials removed the hardware late in the afternoon when a Crimson photographer arrived to snap a picture of it.