Re: theft from collection

Jeffrey Clark (
Tue, 4 Mar 2003 12:57:27 -0800 (PST)


This situation has clearly come up at least once in the distant past for
us--i.e., internal theft--that I can recall. However, in our case, the
thief was identified and confronted. It wasn't a DVD, but the item was
returned. Other miscellaneous missing items, over the years, haven't been
identified clearly as an intentional "rash" of thefts generated from the
inside. We have had student assistants who have been sloppy about borrowing
materials without checking them out themselves--but generally the
situations were caught, and correct behavior "encouraged".

I know that's not very helpful.

But one other slim possibility lies not in internal theft but the nature of
your circulation system: Is it possible for the checkout procedure to fail
if a student assistant is sloppy about attending to the process? We've had
that problem, too, with the Innovative system we use. When assistants don't
read the screen for each barcode transaction, the intended action--checkout
or checkin--can fail to occur without this being noticed.

However... if you have titles disappearing never to return, this
explanation isn't a likely one.


--On Tuesday, March 04, 2003 12:20 PM -0800 Maureen Tripp
<> wrote:


We have had an epidemic of missing DVDs
> from our collection--not in circulation, not late. About half were last
> circulated to students; many were inhouse bookings, and 7 (out of 28)
> were never circulated at all, meaning they were handed to customers
> without being recorded in our circulation system, or were stolen. I
> think it is pretty obvious we are dealing with an inhouse thief.
> Has anyone ever dealt with a similar situation? And a related question:
> how often, and how, do you inventory your collections? Thanks for any
> feedback.
> Maureen

Jeff Clark
Media Resources (MSC 1701)
James Madison University
540-568-6770 (voice)
540-568-3405 (fax)