Survey: AV circ desks in public libraries? -Reply

Carol Smith (
Wed, 13 Aug 1997 17:36:13 -0400

We gave up circ duties in the Media Dept. during tight budget times (i.e.
a hiring freeze), and the video started disappearing like pouring through a
sieve! There were lots of problems at that point in time, the worst of
which was a well organized gang that came through here with a series
of bogus IDs. We also had problems with the security guards and the
cleaning crew.
We bought Kwik cases and the flow was stemmed somewhat. (I
really believe they deter only the honest people.)
Now the loss rate on non-fiction video is down to a reasonable 5-6%
(my best guess), but the fiction (movies) continue to disappear into the
Black Hole. It is absolutely amazing to look at the circ record on
hundreds of movie titles and discover they have circulated (out and back
in) exactly once. And hundreds more have circulated less than five
times before hitting the Hole. Read between the lines.
Library adminstrators are probably looking for a way to cut staff and
save money, and somewhere a bean-counter is figuring which is
cheaper: staff or materials. You can bet your collection is in danger.
Sorry, I sound so cynical, but this is my experience.

Carol O. Smith
Media Department Manager
Jacksonville Public Libraries
122 N. Ocean Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 630-1940