Library Security team members Boyd, Schneider, and Dorantes

  • From left to right: two male and one female security team members in Yale blue uniforms sending in front of Library shelves
    From left to right: Alexander Boyd, David Schneider, and Rubi Dorantes
February 19, 2024

Three security officers at Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library—who have served a combined total of almost 15 years—share their experiences being part of a close-knit team committed to ensuring students, visitors, and fellow staff members always feel welcome and supported.  

Alexander Boyd

Alexander Boyd has been the lead security officer at Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library since September 2023. Before his promotion, Alexander had been a security officer at Beinecke Library since March 2015.

“I let my managers know that I was interesting in being a supervisor or manager, so they made way for me to be a part of that program. I’m learning some new things in my position and am excited about going forward.”

One of Alexander’s responsibilities at the library is access control. Students, employees, and visitors all have different levels of access, and security officers maintain those levels. But according to Alexander, his greatest responsibility is the welfare of his staff of 14 security officers. “I care for them on a day-to-day basis. Whatever they need, I’m there for them.”

“I treat everyone the same way, across the board. I believe that with that you get the best out of people. They’re more motivated and more inclined to help and assist and do their job.”

Alexander is also a pastor designate at Holy Nation Tabernacle Sounds of Praise in New Haven. “Working with people is just something that’s in me,” he said. “It’s inbred. So I am always there to work with you. The more I get to know you, I get to know your strengths and your weaknesses. I may put someone into something challenging, but I try to make it work. ‘Let’s see how you can do this.’ ‘Let’s work this out.’”

A top priority for Alexander and his staff is to make sure that every visitor to the library has a positive experience. “Here at Beinecke, we have a certain standard for very high customer service. That’s something we try to focus on, to keep everyone on staff in that mind set. We want visitors to enjoy themselves and have a great time. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, or whatever.”

Every January, Alexander works at the Beinecke Library’s Martin Luther King Jr. event. “For the past two years,” he said, “the turnout has been phenomenal. Because of the Beinecke Library and Sterling Memorial Library coming together, we were able to put out a lot of information. Visitors thought it was great. They didn’t know Dr. King came to Yale, that he gave a speech here. The public response was filled with positive comments—about the energy level, the people coming in, the excitement to see what was going on. We had individuals who stayed the entire time we were open, from twelve to four!”

“The diversity and inclusion efforts here are awesome,” Alexander said. “As an African American, I don’t feel like I’m at the bottom of the totem pole here at Beinecke. I feel like I’m equal to everyone else. And that’s something we have been fighting for for years. I’m very happy about that. And I’m looking forward to where it’s going from here.”

Rubi Dorantes

Rubi Dorantes has been working at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library for almost five years. Previously, she worked as a public safety officer at the Yale University Art Gallery. In her role at Beinecke Library, Rubi is responsible for the protection of cultural property and the safety of staff, students, and visitors.

Rubi, who is from Mexico, is particularly attentive to visitors from different cultures who speak different languages. An important part of her job is to make sure those visitors fully enjoy their experience at the library’s exhibitions and events. “We have visitors from all over the world,” she said. “I like to make sure they feel comfortable every time they come here. I always try to help them one way or another. And I can see that that helps them feel more welcome.”

Rubi also believes a recent change in the department has also helped visitors to the library feel more welcome: a change in the security team’s uniforms. “I think that the change was a good thing,” she said, “because people used to see us more as police officers and more intimidating. They were afraid to ask questions and maybe were even afraid to come to the library at all. Now we look more welcoming. I think the change was good for the entire Yale community because people all around campus now feel more comfortable talking to us and coming to us to ask questions.”

Rubi is grateful to be part of Yale University and is “very happy” to be part of the Beinecke Library. “I thank all the people who helped me advance my career, including my coworkers. We continue to learn from each other and are part of a great team. I especially thank my mentors at Yale University Art Gallery: Security Supervisor Chuck Iannotti and Chief of Security Frank Biceglia. I also thank my current security supervisors: Director of Library Security Lynn Ieronimo, Head of Library Security Outreach and Emergency Preparedness David Landino, and Head of Library Security Technology and Data John Vinci.”

David Schneider

David Schneider is a special collections control room security officer. His role is to monitor the cameras, monitor the special collections, and make sure that the materials are handled properly and not damaged or removed. He also serves and supports the rest of the security team in various other posts.

Before David started his job at the Beinecke Library, he had been a security officer at Sterling Memorial Library since April 2023. He was promoted to special collections control room officer at Beinecke Library in November 2023. “Library management worked hard to onboard me quickly at Sterling,” he said. “They put me through a rigorous training process, which I embraced. It was a great experience. I learned the Sterling Library inside and out, which took a little while because there are a lot of nooks and crannies in that place! But I figured it out with their support and worked diligently and continued to learn and grow. “But I wanted to work full-time, and Beinecke approached me with this opportunity. I was happy to accept the challenge, and it’s been smooth sailing ever since. It’s a great place, great support, and great people. Everybody looks out for each other. It’s like a little family here. I think that’s a consequence of the good leadership we have here at the university in general and the management team we have here at the library. I’m very grateful. It’s a great opportunity and a pleasure to be able to serve and protect the students and faculty and be part of this winning team.”

David believes that the way that library management treats staff—and the way colleagues treat each other—shows the library’s strong support for DEIA efforts. “I always feel like there is appreciation and respect here. And that’s a tremendous thing because life can be tough sometimes. I like the fact that the focus is on the staff and their needs and on trying to enrich them and help them advance, on helping staff, students, and visitors become better human beings overall. Any events that we can come up with and do that support that goal—like the Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Beinecke— are definitely a home run in my book.”