Re: Video Thefts

Judy Jones (
Fri, 1 Nov 1996 08:06:15 PST8PDT

Gary, is your collection open to patrons? We "page" our collection -
we have a circulation counter and use Media Minder for checkout - and
we keep ID's. We experience little theft of videos, larger theft of
CDs - maybe 10 per year. Only feature film-type videos circulate out
of the building to students, the rest of the videos and MPs circulate
to faculty only (a problem all by itself).

Currently, we do not barcode or magnetic stripe our materials.

We also have a large Library Media Center and plenty of viewing
carrels and 6 group viewing rooms.

Date: Thu, 31 Oct 1996 16:28:46 -0800
From: Gary Handman <>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: Re: Video Thefts

Wull Kris...this seems to be one of the universal bug-a-boos of video
librarydom...A few years back we had an incident (now thought of fondly
as Videogate) in which a group of campus cops came in in the dead of nite
to view...dig this...tapes of Rodney King getting nuked by the LAPD...
Although nothing was stolen (wouldn't THAT have been a hoot!), it still
made us pretty nervous about security. Because we have experienced
fairly severe "inventory shrinkage" in past years, we've been forced to
bite some nastily hard bullets: we've put a security alarm system in,
and...this is the hard part...we've just said no to custodial care: in
other words, we clean the joint ourselves rather than suffer a hemorraging
collection (or misuse of equipment). We've also found that collecting
backpacks at the door (ugh!) has cut theft by over 90 percent...

The other alternative would be to buy nothing but uninteresting, brutally
dull tapes...(then again, knowing undergrads, these would probably be
ripped off, also).

Good luck!

Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000