Fingerprints instead of…

Indentification via fingerprints seem to be all the vogue “of late(Biometric DRM)”: And since the story of “Naperville Public Library(Naperville Public Library)”:, “US Biometrics(US Biometrics)”: and their “Fingerprints instead of Library Card(Library card? Check. Fingerprint? Really?)”: plan has been commented on at both “LISNews(Want To Use A Computer? We Need Your Fingerprint First)”: and “SlashDot(Library to Require Fingerprint to Use PCs)”:, I felt obligated to respond as well. Up until now, fingerprints have been required for everything from “selling videogames(”: to “checking out library books(Fingerprint Library Cards)”: (Did you remember that?). I gave up my own plans to be a master jewel thief a little over a decade ago when every darn school board I started working for wanted to do a background check. I can almost guarantee that some people will never want to go along with this plan. But on the other hand (no pun intended), some will not see it as a big deal. The downside to our PAMS system is that someone who has forgotten their library card has absolutely no way onto the computer. We empathize with them, but don’t really offer a workaround except for picking up a guest card. We also don’t check out books without the person presenting their card. The cool thing about using fingerprints is they never forget to bring them to the library. Of course, there are some “potential downsides(Why fingerprint based biometric systems are bad for you)”:

By Michael K Pate

Michael K. Pate tends to spend a great deal time of time around computers. He has been a Librarian since 1997.

Michael was born in Avon Park, Florida in 1966. Except for a couple of brief periods in his life (once in Tampa and once in Winter Haven/Haines City), he has been a life-long resident.

Originally, he planned on a career as a Computer Programmer and therefore graduate from Webber College with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems in 1988. However, unhappy with career opportunities at the time, he soon returned to school and received a BS in Social Science Education from the University of South Florida.

He began his career in education at Avon Elementary and later Avon Park Middle working as a Computer Lab Coordinator. While technological challenges were interesting, he found himself more and more interested in becoming a Media Specialist. He began work on his MLS in 1995.

However, a summer internship at the Sebring Public Library in 1996 soon made him reconsider just what his career should be. Upon graduation in 1997, he secured a position as a Media Specialist at Eastside Elementary in Haines City. Eventually, the position he was looking for opened up and he returned to SPL as Reference Librarian in 1999.

In 2003, he became Assistant Director of the Highlands County Library System, serving in that role until the position was eliminated during a late round of budget cuts in 2010. Since then, he has been the Computer Support Specialist for the Heartland Library Cooperative. In 2011, he began serving on the Board of Directors of the Tampa Bay Library Consortium.