Technology Helps Libraries Defend Against Thievery

Libraries are home to more than beat-up bestsellers. They house rare book collections, valuable historical documents, original art and more, luring thieves into the building. So how do libraries prevent theft of these priceless objects?

Librarians expect books to disappear, however, and they have ways to minimize those percentages. Staff insert thin radio frequency identification (RFID) tags between book pages. If not checked out properly, those tags will set off an alarm as patrons leave the library. 

With an average loss rate between 4% and 8%, according to one American Library Association study, libraries must double their efforts to protect their assets. Beyond technology like RFID tags, the right insurance policy can help protect the library from loss. 

Investing in Library Insurance

Library insurance policies are similar to those carried by art galleries and museums. Agents tailor policies to the library. Insurance companies use factors like building location and collection value to create the best product.

The foundation of each policy likely includes commercial property insurance, general liability insurance and commercial auto insurance. Each product protects the library in a different way. A commercial property policy covers theft, for example, while general liability insurance protects the nonprofit from unintentional injury claims. Unreturned books are one thing. Theft of irreplaceable artifacts is another. Today’s libraries have the tools necessary to protect against both.