The theft of library material is an ongoing problem for most libraries, according to Milton Burger, Managing Director of Milestone Integrated Systems. Says Burger, "Many installations have been completed in libraries and great results have been achieved in the prevention of material theft. Much theft from libraries not only pertain to the theft of books for personal use but a great deal of books are removed so that articles/graphics may be cut out and used in school projects, naturally the books are then dumped."
"Meto Security Systems makes use of exit-mounted detection pedestals as well as deactivation and reactivation stations. The principle of operation is that a security tag as thin and inconspicuous as a needle is inserted into the book where it cannot readily be detected. If the book is removed through the correct procedures the tag is deactivated so that when the person passes through the detection pedestals no alarm will sound."
"On return of the book the tag is automatically reactivated before the book is placed back on the shelf. Should the tag not be deactivated the alarm will sound indicating that a book has been illicitly removed from the library," says Burger.
Adds Burger, "One of the great benefits of the Meto System is that the tags can be deactivated and reactivated preventing library books from setting off alarms at other retailers. Unwanted alarms are not only frustrating but highly embarrassing for retailer and library patrons and when choosing a library asset management security system, it is essential to make sure that tags can be deactivated when leaving the library."
For details contact Milton Burger of Milestone Integrated Systems on tel: (011) 452-7466, fax: (011) 452-7468 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cathy Kearns comments on Westville Boys High School recent installation
Q: Why did you feel that you needed to put a security system into your library?
A: To prevent unauthorised removal of library material.
Q: What kind of losses were you incurring yearly?
A: A total of 530 books from the English and Afrikaans fiction and non-fiction collections over the period of a year.
Q: How were the books being stolen?
A: In our school it is not so much a question of 'stealing' library material - though there are undoubtedly incidences of this. It is more a question of boys who are under pressure - for project work - for instance - not observing the correct procedures and removing material for their immediate needs Often these are found lying around afterwards. There is also an increasingly casual attitude as regards the observance of rules. This seems to be a modern trend. During the years I have been at our school, I have watched the missing items list increase over the years.
Q: Why did you decide on the Meto System?
A: We were impressed with Meto's approach and how the product was moulded. The discreet size and pricing of the tag was also a big factor.
Q: How are the stolen books being detected?
A: Through an alarm signal which alerts us to any unauthorised removal of material
Q: Would you recommend the System to other libraries?
A: Most decidedly.
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