Preventing Theft in Libraries

March 22, 2021

Operating a library means providing the joy of literacy to your community, but unfortunately, it can also come with theft risks. Thieves may target library materials like books, CDs, magazines, movies, and more, underscoring the importance of library insurance and vigilant surveillance of the area. Library insurance is the foundation of preventing theft in libraries and from suffering hefty financial losses.

However, here are some other strategies for preventing theft in libraries before it occurs.

Remain Vigilant and Use Security Technology as Needed

Staying vigilant at all times is perhaps the number-one most important way your library can prevent theft and other illicit activity on your premises. While it’s helpful to assign certain employees to keep an eye out for questionable activity, you may find it’s more effective to use security technology strategically when you need to. This can include strategies like:

  • Keeping security cameras on in high-traffic areas
  • Paying attention to those entering and exiting the building
  • Watch out for secluded areas in the library that may be more susceptible to questionable activity

Keep in mind that you should also keep backups of any security records just in case you need to go back and review them later. The more thorough records you keep, the easier it may be to identify potential culprits should theft occur at some point.

Regularly Evaluate and Catalog the Collection, and Report Gaps Immediately

Likewise, having a thoroughly catalogued collection can make theft significantly easier to pinpoint. If you currently only take inventory of the library’s materials at irregular intervals, now is the time to get on a regular schedule for cataloging the collection, reviewing which materials are currently checked out and need to be returned, and so on. If your staff notices any gaps in the catalog, make sure they know who to report it to, and remind them that these gaps need to be reported right away.

Lock Away Valuables and Consider Adding Extra Layers of Security

If your library hosts valuable or rare materials, such as old magazines and newspapers, rare book collections, or temporary public exhibits of precious materials, make sure to heighten the security around those items. You may want to consider locking away valuables, making them available only upon request, or putting valuable items in glass containers and adding alarm systems to them if someone tries to break in and steal the objects.

Theft is an unfortunate danger that many libraries have to contend with. Library insurance, constant watchfulness, prudent security measures, careful cataloging, and more can all help prevent the occurrence of theft and may also help to mitigate its aftereffects should it occur. Work through these security steps to help your library keep its collection safe from potential risks of theft.

About Regan Agency

A family-owned business, Long Island-based Regan Agency has more than 35 years of experience serving the library insurance and risk management needs of Tri-State residents and businesses. We have earned the trust of our clients based on our integrity and commitment to offer individuals and businesses quality library insurance products at competitive prices backed by unparalleled responsive service. Just give one of our professionals a call at (855) 272-1194.