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posted: 2/14/2013 10:56 PM

Aurora library taking action to halt DVD thefts

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DVDs are popular items at the public library in downtown Aurora.

But some patrons aren't content with just borrowing them.

According to the library, more than 200 DVDs have been swiped since the beginning of the year.

As a result, the library is relocating its 13,000 DVDs from a public browsing area on the library's second floor to an area accessible only to library employees.

Patrons who want to browse the collection can still do it, but only by either searching the catalog online or by consulting a reference librarian.

Since DVDs cost around $20 a pop, losses amount to thousands of dollars.

"The taxpayers pay for these DVDs to be purchased," said the Aurora Public Library's public information manager, Amy Roth. "We just want to be good stewards for the taxpayers."

The security problem should improve when the library moves into its new building in late 2014, since there will be a separate audiovisual room that will have its own secure checkout area, Library Director Eva Luckinbill said.

Roth said the library also plans to employ a radio frequency identification system to keep track of the DVDs.

"it's something that libraries all over the country are using," she said.

According to the website of the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) not only "detect the unauthorized removal of library materials," but also speed up the checkout - and self-checkout - process.

In an article written by Richard W. Boss, the website said that by mid-2007, an estimated 600 libraries with as many as 850 facilities worldwide were using RFID systems. By mid-2011, those numbers had at least quadrupled.

Boss wrote that the RFID is a combination of radio-frequency-based technology and microchip technology. "The information contained on microchips in the tags affixed to library materials is read using radio frequency technology. A reader (aka sensor, scanner, or interrogator) looks for antennae on the tags and retrieves information from the microchips through them."

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