After the second break-in in a few months, it became pretty clear that we needed to do something. Burglars seeking our petty cash broke into the Library on three separate occasions in the last six months. While the petty cash never amounted to more than $100, the resulting damage to the building started to get expensive. In addition to the break-ins, we have had many instances of vandalism and an employee’s purse was taken from behind the desk. Broken computers, people counters, and a file cabinet have had to be repaired or replaced. We had all of our locks changed since extra keys were easy to access behind the circulation desk. The last burglary resulted in our office door getting kicked-in. A new office door is on order and anxiously anticipated.
The Trustees and library staff sat down with a local security contractor and decided on a plan. We would put motion sensors around the building and add two cameras. Both our children’s area and the side door cannot be seen from the circulation desk. Vandalism had increased in those two areas and we hoped installing cameras would deter the vandals and give us a way to monitor those spaces. We also installed an alarm on our emergency exit, which had been unlocked and used to enter the building several times.
So far we have invested more than $900 into the security system, with another $1050 anticipated for the camera system. This does not include any of the yearly fees that we will have to pay. While not cheap, we are hoping that these measures will slow down the torrent of money to repair and recover from all of these intrusions. Our emotional recovery has come at a cost as well. Every theft has come with a feeling of violation. It has been hard for me to make peace with money being taken from an institution that tries to give every cent back to our community.
Our motion sensors and emergency exit alarm have been installed. The security contractor is hoping to install the cameras soon and we are adding some motion sensor lights around the building. Things have quieted down since the installation and vandalism has stopped. We are hoping that peace and security will soon be returned to our happy little building and our community.
Allison Maynard, director