Video Thefts

Kristine R. Brancolini (
Thu, 31 Oct 1996 14:32:22 -0500 (EST)

We've been experiencing a high number of video thefts during the past
three months. They are always feature films on VHS and they are
primarily popular titles, such as _The Terminator_ and _Seven_. This is
extremely annoying as we often do not realize the video is missing until
a professor comes to pick it up! We have started checking early in the
morning of the day the video is to be picked up, as checking at the time
the prof makes the reservation is no guarantee. Of course, many of these
tapes are available elsewhere, but it's still a pain and it's costing us
money to replace all these tapes (about 20 so far).

All the tapes are shelved behind a desk so it's either student employees
or custodial staff. We suspect the latter because students know better
and also because when this began late last summer, we had only a few
students working and they were all experienced and highly trusted.

So here's my question: Have any of you dealt with this problem?

We are considering moving all the feature films on VHS to locking
cabinets, so we could eliminate the possibiity of theft by the
custodians. If that doesn't work, I don't know what we will do.
Frankly, if it's one or more student employees, we're doomed...

Do any of you use locking cabinets to shelve any or all of your
videocassetes? Any other suggestions?

Help! This is annoying as well as expensive... I'm on the verge of
shifting to 100% laserdisc for feature films, but I like the flexibility
of having both VHS and laserdisc.

Kristine Brancolini
Indiana University Libraries