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What to consider as you assess your library's "risk of loss" tolerance?

January 3, 2024

To evaluate the cost/benefits of security systems, assess your tolerance for loss:

  1. What type of security system(s) does your library currently use?  Is it still active?

  1. Does your library conduct regular inventories to determine actual losses due to theft? Is that loss rate more than 1% of total inventory? Are your losses higher for materials checked out and not returned?

  1. What percentage of the total materials budget is designated for replacements?

  1. How many circulations do you get from an average disk before it is replaced?

  1. Do you have controlled exits, including the staff exit? Multiple floors? Line of sight to most areas?

  1. Are the projected costs of the added security measures higher than the cost of replacing stolen materials?

  1. What do you expect from your self-checkout stations in percentage of checkouts? How much of your circulation is high-risk materials? Can you afford to reduce the effectiveness of self-checkout by using security measures such as security cases or closed stacks?

  1. What are your high-risk collections? Would you reasonably house the high-risk collection(s) in a separate secured room or area?

  1. Can you afford the cost and space of disk vending machines or shelves to house and dispense at least 20% of your total disk collection? Or would you dispense only high-risk collections or only disks on hold?

  1. Is there a political climate or public relations problem related to theft of library materials?

  1. What, if any, repetitive stress injuries for staff have resulted from existing security methods such as opening/closing security cases?

  1. Where does your library fall on the scale below of tolerance for risk of loss?

If you have questions for Gretchen or you would like to connect, please feel free to reach out to us!

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