When you run a branch library in a small town, the loss of even one book can be devastating. Many small branch libraries rely on the generosity of others – through donations of cash and books – to stock the shelves for the patrons in their communities. If you're responsible for a branch library, you want to make sure that your books are well-protected against theft. Here are four steps you can take to safeguard the books that are in your charge:
Keep Two People on Staff at All Times
When it comes to running a library, you want to make it a safe and comfortable place for people to enjoy spending time. You also want to make sure that the books don't grow legs and walk away. That can be difficult to do when there's only one person on duty. To make sure your patrons are safe, and your books are secure, keep two people on staff at all times. That way, one person can man the check-out desk at the front of the library, and the other one can traverse the library. People are less likely to try and steal a book or a video if they know that they might get caught.
Work With Your Local Law Enforcement
When it comes to securing the books in your library, you might not think about local law enforcement. You might think that they have better things to do besides monitoring the books in the library. However, if you arrange to have an officer walk through the library once a shift, patrons will get used to seeing them. Not only will your books be more secure, but your patrons will feel safer knowing that they're being protected. That will also benefit your library during the summer months when kids tend to visit the library more often. Parents will feel more secure sending their kids to the library unaccompanied when they know that local law enforcement takes an active interest.
Utilize Surveillance Cameras
When it comes to keeping an eye on your books, you need to be able to see the entire library. That's where surveillance cameras come in handy. By installing video cameras throughout the library, and a monitor at the front desk, you'll be able to keep an eye on the entire library right from the check-out desk.
Secure Your Books
When it comes to securing your books against theft, installing radio-frequency detection systems, or RF systems, are one of the best steps you can take. RF security utilizes magnetic barcodes and security stands to monitor each book. If a book isn't scanned through the system to deactivate the magnetic bar code, the alarm will sound as it passes through the security stands. With this system, you won't need to worry about book theft anymore.
Contact a company that provides RF security services for more information and assistance.