The theft of a new laptop and missing DVDs has prompted the Trail and District Public Library to add new technology to its repository – the 24/7 security camera.
It’s a sign of the times, and an action that many libraries are taking, says Barbara Gibson.
“We want to continue to provide the best possible service for our patrons,” explained Gibson, a longtime chair of the library board. “In order to do that we will be installing cameras with continuous livestreaming, taking into account the premise’s sight lines. We’ll do whatever it takes, and an important part of business these days is making sure to provide security for all patrons and staff.”
The recent theft of a $1,500 computer and docking station from Library Director Kathryn Foley’s back office is the latest incidence that has the facility adding security and reconfiguring how certain resources will be handled moving forward.
“The other issue we have is DVDs being taken out of the envelopes and the case put back on the shelf,” said Gibson. “We are going to be doing a little rearranging because we want to be able to update DVDs and upgrade our music to provide the best possible service for our patrons.”
Instead of recorded materials being available in a public access format, library staff will be emptying all the cases, putting the DVDs in envelopes and storing them behind the circulation desk.
“It’s mostly movies and a number of TV series that we carry,” noted Gibson. “I can’t say how many have gone missing but even one or two is too many because they cost us.”
On top of replacing Foley’s laptop, which went missing sometime before closing Friday evening and early the following morning, the library’s tight budget was further stretched to pay for new security.
“It’s an unexpected cost, and puts us about $2,100 behind plus whatever has been stolen,” said Gibson. “So donations are always welcome.”
This year marks the Trail institution’s 90th anniversary. In the next few months, the board is planning a celebration at the site, which will include details on the new library/museum building slated to break ground in 2016.
“All the records say is that the library began in the spring of 1925,” said Gibson. “So we haven’t planned a date just yet.”
She said the board is waiting to hear from Trail council’s strategic planning session regarding the new Riverfront Centre, and in the meantime, is actively pursuing grant money for capital costs.
“In addition to grants, we are hoping our library patrons will be enthusiastic about supporting us through donations,” Gibson added. “We would like to schedule the 90th birthday and unveil our plans at the same time, because we want to keep things in the public eye as well as generate excitement in the community.”