Security Cameras Installed

Posted on Thursday 20 September 2007

Security Cameras have been installed throughout the library for the safety of our customers and library materials. Numerous cameras, some visible, some not so visible, were installed on September 19th. The new security cameras will enhance the library’s safe environment and protect the library’s collection from damage and theft.

The new system will provide continuous 24/7 coverage for the library facility, maintaining a 3 week record for each camera location. In addition, to enhancing library security, the cameras will also be used to identify the theft of library materials and assist in the prosecution of those stealing public property, according to Don W. Barlow, Executive Director.

Those taking library materials illegally, either as a prank or for profit, should consider the consequences. Taking materials, valued over $250 is a felony and punishable by heavy fines and possible imprisonment. In a recent case with the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, a lady was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to pay full restitution to the library. A heavy penalty for stealing items that could simply be borrowed for free.

11 Comments for 'Security Cameras Installed'

    Susan Bell
    September 24, 2007 | 8:33 pm

    It was a very good plan to install the security cameras and should cut down on all the recent thefts and added expense of replacing the lost items. I’m glad that the library took this step to secure the safety of the patrons and the material.

    September 25, 2007 | 6:40 pm


    Thank you for your comments. As you know, we take the preservation of our materials and collections seriously. We sincerely hope the cameras will curtail some of the theft that’s been occurring. At the very least, they will prove useful in identifying and prosecuting those responsible for stealing public property in the future.

    October 24, 2007 | 9:49 am

    I would like to commend heartily the director for this decision. As a librarian of another library system many of the public may not realize that like just like the schools who have had to resort to a lot of security libraries, librarians & even innocent patrons have been faced with vandalism, violence & threats from unstable individuals and we all lose hundreds & hundreds of print & media materials each year. As researchers we often have to interrupt our work many times a day to break up arguments even fist fights! . It is very sad but we have all experienced it & it can be frightening and demoralizing.

    February 9, 2008 | 5:13 pm

    I have taught in inner-city high schools, so I know what you are up against. I would guess, however, that what people are stealing is not books. Nobody EVER steals books, because that would imply reading. My guess is that when you provide movies, music CD’s, and computer access, that you attract a different clientele, apart from people who actually read and think and revere books and ideas.

    February 12, 2008 | 5:41 pm


    Thank you for your comments! You are correct, the majority of items stolen have been and will probably continue to be media items. While books and magazines are certainly stolen or not returned to the library, media items are usually why customers are turned over to the collection agency. We certainly take the loss of library materials, but we are very fortunate, in that, Westerville has minimal losses compared to urban libraries and even other suburban libraries.

    Our security cameras have decreased incidences, as well as our Collection Agency policies have proved to be very good deterents.

    Again, thank you very much for your comments and concern.

    Eric Lund
    February 17, 2008 | 8:36 pm

    Hey, Thanks, I beleive this will be really nice to have.

    October 1, 2010 | 3:00 pm

    Great job on installing security cameras in your library. They will definitely help with theft, keep your staff honest and are great to have in place to deter any wrongdoing. Let us know if you guys ever have any questions or need any opinions and we’ll be glad to help!

    Security Camera System Help

    Amanda Lee
    February 25, 2011 | 12:39 am

    Interesting idea to install security cameras all over the library. May I know how do you decide on the number of security cameras in the library? Only isolated corners are considered? I am asking because there are issues of budget and maintenance to consider.

    February 28, 2011 | 2:23 pm


    Thank you for your comments! We decided on the number of cameras and their location by working with a security firm. They helped us in determining the number of cameras needed, as well as their location.

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