On the outside of the Central Library in downtown St. Louis are the words, “Recorded thought is our chief heritage from the past.” The future came calling last week, with a ransom note attached.
Most of the services were restored after an unprecedented attack on the St. Louis Public Library System.
For many St. Louisans, the library is their lifeline to the outside world. Thousands of residents use the 17 branches of the public library every day. Sometimes it’s to check out a book; oftentimes, the library serves as many folks only connection to the internet and outside world.
The public’s ability to check out materials has been restored thanks to library IT staff and more working 48-hour shifts around the clock since last Thursday.
As of Tuesday afternoon, mobile printing remained unavailable, but those services were close to returning.
The library has reassured patrons that personal or financial information is not stored on their servers, and that data has not been compromised. When it comes to ransomware and ransom notes, a library spokesperson said they would not pay criminals trying to hack their system.
Meanwhile, the public library advises people call before coming in to make sure computers are available for use.