Many libraries use fully computerized systems to control book procurement, technical processing, circulation as well as OPAC. All bibliographic records of book collection in the libraries may be available in the database of each library and can be accessed via the library OPAC. Through use of the book acquisition module the library is able to keep track of which books are available in the library, as the records are updated daily. This is an important feature of a good library security system.
The library security system may keep records of students which can be automatically transferred to the library’s patron database as soon as the students are given their identity cards. In addition, a library security system may also provide the entire collection and services of the library which can be searched using the library’s OPAC and there should also be sufficient PCs available in the user areas for such searches.
Book Procurement, Technical Processing and Material Management
Some libraries may make use of an electronic library security system that consists of an electro-magnetic-based surveillance system that checks for pilferage of books. Such a library security system may have an electromagnetic gate installed at the entrance of the library and this gate should have sensors that can sense magnetic strips inserted in each book of the library.
The library security system may also have a sensitizer/de-sensitizer unit which will de-sensitize each book that is issued and re-sensitize the book when it is returned to the library. Such a sensitizer/de-sensitizer may be installed at the circulation counter. Also, there may be tattle tapes which are magnetic strips which need to be inserted into each book and should be done on regular basis.
The main aim of a library security system is to monitor material that leaves the library and when books that have not been properly checked out pass through the system an alarm should be set off. Some people may be worried about the library security system interfering with pacemakers, hearing aids, tape recorders or computer diskettes and compact discs. However, no such interference is caused by the library security systems and it is perfectly safe to use the aforementioned items on the library premises.
Though the library is considered an oasis of quiet and decorum they do have certain security problems. This is further compounded by the fact that developing an effective library security system is often expensive and time consuming. And, placing too much emphasis on library security may help to create a negative atmosphere within the library. All said and done, having a good library security system outweighs the negative aspects and installing one in a library is highly recommended.