RE: theft from collection

Lisa Irwin (LisaI@kpl.gov)
Wed, 5 Mar 2003 08:31:02 -0800 (PST)

We have had occasional seemingly internal theft at our PL as well. One =
technique that I've found surprisingly successful for beating some =
missing items out of the bushes is sending a non-accusatory all staff =
e-mail. I merely mention the item that is missing and the fact that a =
patron was looking for it, and encourage anyone who has any knowledge of =
the last known location of the item to contact me. Maybe it's guilt, =
maybe fear of exposure, but about half of the time, the item =
mysteriously reappears. The e-mails also serve to raise the awareness =
of staff who sometimes seem to think it's all right to take something =
home without checking it out--like maybe their interests are so precious =
or unique that no one else would possibly miss the item! =20

Lisa Irwin
Audiovisual Services
Kalamazoo Public Library
(269) 553-7923
lisai@kpl.gov

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Boedicker [mailto:mboedicker@hotmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2003 10:44 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: RE: theft from collection

Maureen,
We've had (and apparently still have) in-house theft problems too. =20
Unprocessed CDs and videos were being stolen from the AV workroom where =
they=20
were kept on open shelves -- the workroom door was always locked, but=20
everyone's key opens it because AV is not always staffed and other staff =

often need to get in to that room. We replaced the open shelving with a =

locking metal cabinet, and only I and my co-worker have keys. That =
still=20
doesn't prevent in-house theft once stuff is put out for circulation --=20
staff merely has to remove the Kwik (security) case and walk out the =
staff=20
entrance, never encountering the magnetic gate. This is apparently what =
has=20
been happening recently, with new videos and esp. CDs disappearing, =
often=20
before they've even circulated once. Country/Western CDs are the big =
new=20
target. It's frustrating as hell when it's an inside job but there's =
not=20
much that can be done.

We inventory the collection every few years, but not on a specific=20
timetable. We're due to inventory any month now...

Mike

Mike Boedicker
Audiovisual Director & Webmaster
Danville Public Library
319 N. Vermilion, Danville, IL 61832
(217) 477-5223 ext. 123 / Fax: (217) 477-5230
mboedicker@hotmail.com
http://www.danville.lib.il.us

Date: Tue, 4 Mar 2003 15:18:56 -0500
From: "Maureen Tripp" <Maureen_Tripp@emerson.edu>
To: <videolib@library.berkeley.edu>
Subject: theft from collection
Message-ID: <926B4A8D55661047B1353EC03E69CE2DACF884@mail.emerson.edu>

First, thank you to everyone who sent advice regarding my previous=20
question
about an instructor who wanted to add pornography to the video =
collection.=20
So
far, the instructor hasn't made specific requests, but once she does, =
I=20
feel
better prepared.

Now, a more pressing problem. We have had an epidemic of missing DVDs =

from our
collection--not in circulation, not late. About half were last =
circulated=20
to
students; many were inhouse bookings, and 7 (out of 28) were never=20
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=20
dealing
with an inhouse thief.

Has anyone ever dealt with a similar situation? And a related =
question: =20
how
often, and how, do you inventory your collections?
Thanks for any feedback.
Maureen

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