As early as the twelfth century, it was recorded that libraries had to start chaining books to the walls to protect them from theft. The issue then was that there were so few copies available and when the library received a new edition, the whole town wanted access to it. Library security has remained a priority throughout our history. Even in our current century, 70% of all public libraries report their biggest problem is theft, not lack of resources and public money.
My daughter has always had an affinity for our public library. Before she was even in school, I would take her regularly to the weekly story hour. As she got older she started checking out books for herself and really got to know the library staff. She knew them all by name and they knew her as well. Around the time she turned ten, her favorite place was the genealogy room. There are all kinds of county and state history books housed in there, along with many records of the local family histories. There are birth and death records, property records, and much more. When I asked her about the library security for that room, she said there was none. There was only the lady that specialized in the upkeep of the books in there. Otherwise, there were only signs warning the patrons of the rules for those books. They cannot be checked out, of course. But, people are not supposed to remove more than two books from the shelves at a time. They must remain in the genealogy room and replace the books in the correct place before they leave. For all the value these books hold, more sentimental than monetary, they are really not protected from theft. It can get expensive to do family history research, especially using an online service, but it’s free to do it at the library. And it’s not that complicated if you’re in the genealogy room to simply conceal the book you want and just walk out the door with it.
It would be a shame for any county library to lose these precious resources. They are priceless and many times cannot be replaced. They are useful for students and for anyone trying to piece together their family tree. Libraries have obviously stopped the practice of chaining books to the walls, but they have added security guards and have limited the exits of the building. Many have also added electronic protection for more advanced library security. I have seen that many branches are utilizing Checkpoint Labels to monitor the books going in and out. Of course, that means they have to have a Checkpoint system installed. One of the many systems available for this type of environment is the N10 Antenna System. The N10 Antenna is perfect for the library because the pedestals are smaller, they can be wall mounted, and they do not detract from the classic look that library patrons expect. They are just as powerful and have the same detection capability of the other larger pedestals that you see in many department stores. They also offer the theft deterrence that libraries are looking for. Preventing the loss of books is the number one job of the N10 Antenna System. Library staff can now save the time they lose searching for lost and stolen books and use that time to help people with research.
For more information on Library Protection, contact us or call: 1.770.426.0547