Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Theft, Preventing

Librarians will occasionally find themselves needing to stop a patron who attempts to leave the library with an uncharged book. If the security gate chime sounds and your first attempt to get the patron’s attention fails (“Excuse me, sir? Sir?”), you may then resort to the use of lassos, TASERS, and/or throwing stars.

Ask the readers: How does your library stop patrons who set off the security alarm?

25 comments:

Unclassifiable Librarian said...

We ask them to come back if we can. I used to have a circ desk lady that would chase them down - was rather amusing. We also have security cameras at all the exits, and so if someone gets by us we can get video/pictures of them. However, I keep requisitioning tasers each year. One year I'm hoping to get one.

Anonymous said...

That's a dangerous game. If you start lassoing your patrons to get their attention, the patrons who lack boundaries will probably step up their game too. Instead of shouting from 10 meters away or they'll start the inappropriate touching.

Anonymous said...

We flick a switch, which seals the outer door to the Library, and electrifies the metal bars on the doors, rendering escape impossible. Security is called, and offenders are thoroughly searched, and then "hauled off for further questioning" as necessary.

Of course--depending on the egregiousness of the offense--the Librarian may deem it appropriate to unobtrusively slip a small piece of tattle tape into the offender's backpack as this drama ensues, creating a little "surprise" for the would-be thief's future visits.

infostud said...

Land mines in the entryway that activate with the alarm.

LibraryJawn said...

What...y'all don't have a library oubliette?

Nik said...

LASER GUNS

Anonymous said...

Tasers are for wimps.

Armed guards with Uzzis.

Anonymous said...

I prefer the release of the rabid bats we keep in the library attic. The sound of alarm triggers a trap door to open above the security gates. The alarm drives them into a frenzy, and they swarm the offender who is so busy trying to keep the bats out of their hair, that they drop the items they are attempting to steal.

However, throwing stars seem to be a viable alternative - and one that can be effective from a greater distance, albeit with the proper amount of practice!

Michelle said...

The more diligent of our Circulation staff will ask patrons who set off the gate if they successfully obtained a receipt from using the self checkouts. that's assuming the security guard isn't there monitoring people as they leave, which really they only do near closing time. Otherwise, we typically wave people to go on through. Our self checkouts do a poor job of desensitizing materials, and it beeps a lot.

Anonymous said...

release the kracken!

Michael Olivarez said...

Two staffers...myself included, ran after the bad patrons and had them arrested...one patron stole a display showcasing flash drives and headphones we sale...valued at $7.00total...I kept telling the officer...”it doesn't matter how much it cost...its city property.”

MeaganTowle said...

We are actually all trained in track and field. We have a sprinter, a hurdler (to get over the shorter people), a long-jumper (to get over the circ desk), and a javelin thrower. Because of this, we take turns in the retrieval of these patrons. Luckily, we haven't had to use the javelin yet, we usually get there before that becomes necessary.

shushie said...

We actually do *drum roll* nothing!

Like JC Penneys, setting off our security alarm would at best get a raised eyebrow, but no one, and certainly not our nonexistent security guard, would get off of their rump to see what all the ruckus is about. Usually, we'd just wave.

Then we just unplugged the damn things so visually they may tell our patrons "don't steal" but in reality it's "meh."

Anonymous said...

Our security gates are just a prop, they haven't worked in the 10 years I've worked there and even if they did none of our items have the security strip in them..so I guess we don't care much about theft.

Unknown said...

I found the best weapon is high powered net gun, electrified with 300,000 volts.

First you must scream as loud as you can, it is helpful if you are naked and painted blue, this is how one should dress at staff meetings any way, keep i classy and put paper on the pneumatic chair to avoid blue butt contamination.

Once you dart at the hapless patron who no doubt is struck dumb with fear, you fire your electrified net gun in the general direction. I don't wear glasses when painted but because I am a reasonable professional.

Once the dust settles, the police and ambulance leaves and the fact the alarm was set off by a laptop is sorted out, you can breath easy.

Anonymous said...

Where's the like button? There were so many response that I liked and wanted to let all know. Love the bats. I wanna work there! ;-)

dena said...

The kracken answer wins!

thehaughtylibrarian said...

Our security gates are only for the DVD and CD security cases. We wouldn't know if someone stole a book or not. Usually the gates only sound when someone walks IN with an inter-library loan book. It's super helpful.

Aingeal S. said...

Back in my public library days, our newspaper kept disappearing. We blamed the delivery man for non-delivery. Then one morning as I was setting up and getting ready to open I watched a we-ll-known patron reach into the book drop to steal the newspaper! I was standing right there, but he didn't see me until I cleared my throat. He dropped the newspaper, and took off. Didn't stop coming to the library though. LOL! Good times!

Infobrarian said...

Some great ideas here! Our library has only been open a couple of months, but we've made a real effort to chase down patrons who set off the alarm. Sadly, it's often the fault of our self-check kiosk: it doesn't always turn off the tag security. We'd look pretty silly if we tasered someone when it was technically our fault.

We have a wooden bridge leading from the library, crossing a shallow indentation that COULD be a moat if I sent our casual shelvers out to dig a few times a week. Then it would only need a bit of carpentry one Sunday afternoon and we'd have a drawbridge linked to our security system ...

Anonymous said...

Orangutans, everyone knows a good library should have an orangutan to enforce all library rules, highly effective and work for a supply of bananas.

biblioblond said...

I run a lot of marathons and chasing after patrons who haven't checked out material is an integral part of my training program. If they don't stop when the alarm goes off, sometimes they can get all the way out at the parking lot by the time I catch up to them. Usually they are quite sheepish that I've "caught them" (pun intended).

Anonymous said...

Shoulder mounted rocket launchers.

Anonymous said...

Well, why don't we change the sound of the alarm? Instead of the normal, beep-beep-beep-beep-beep (sounds like selina gomes song), change it to "Freeze... Hands up!"

Anonymous said...

Actually, the "Freeze" is pretty much what ours does. We have a male voice that asks the patron to return to the Circulation Desk. It always sounds like "If you don't, the Uzis will be used" is the next statement.