Re: video security

Tony Neal (
Thu, 3 Apr 1997 08:20:17 -0800 (PST)

Lisbeth, I've fought the battle of the "security wars" for many years and
here is the present situation: We circulate @15,000 titles of fiction and
non-fiction videos throughout 9 branches. At our central branch we have
the 3M security posts and is the only branch with security. Our yearly
loss rate systemwide is about 4-5%, with the highest loss here at central.
That tells me that if someone wants to steal a video badly enough, they
probably will, so to me it's much more effective to package the videos as
simply as possible (we use the Squeeze and Shake box), ignore stripping
them (most patrons THINK they're stripped anyway), and don't worry about a
loss rate which is going to be there no matter what you do. The patrons
like the packaging, the staff like avoiding the fuss of desensitizing the
boxes (though they still do the books), and our Technical Services
department appreciates how easy they are to process and, thus, we hardly
ever have a backlog of videos to process.

When I think of the bad old days when the videos were kept in the back
room with dummy boxes in the public area, I am really happy with our
present situation. As you point out, the videos are so reasonably priced
these days, it isn't worth the effort to treat them like gold bullion and,
to repeat, it they want to steal them, they will, no matter what you

Hope this is food for thought. Good luck!

On Thu, 3 Apr 1997, Lisbeth S. Goldberg wrote:

> This email is directed toward public libraries. Does anyone successfully
> circulate a home video collection, without any security system in a
> public library? At the Arlington County Library, our video circulation
> is 17,000+ checkouts per month on a collection of 7000 items, 50%
> non-fiction, 25% children's and 25% popular movies or made-for-tv
> series.
> We are about to move the circulation component of our av operation to the
> central circ desk. Dragging 17,000 videos a month over our 3M
> sensitizers/desensitizers is a bit labor intensive. We've also
> considered alternate security systems such as KWIK case.
> The bottom line is that the cost of home videos is no longer what it once
> was. Even new titles can be acquired in the $10 - $30 range. We are
> just reevaluating whether or not continuing with the current 3M system is
> really cost effective or worth the effort. Any experience or opinions
> with this issue are welcome...
> Lisbeth S. Goldberg
> Audiovisual Librarian at Arlington County Library, VA
> (703)358-6339

Tony Neal
Media Librarian Phone: 360.405.9101 Fax: 360.405.9128
Kitsap Regional Library
1301 Sylvan Way
Bremerton, WA 98310