January 25, 2022

Texas: Thefts Cost Austin Public Library System More Than $1 Million in Five Years

From The Austin American-Statesman:

In a given month, nearly 500,000 items churn through the Austin Public Library System’s 21 libraries — books, music CDs, movies and magazines that are lent to users with a promise to return them by their due dates.

But an American-Statesman/KVUE News joint review shows that $1.1 million in taxpayer-purchased inventory has been checked out over the past five years but hasn’t been returned.

Patrons owe an additional $861,571 in fines from 2008 through 2012 for items that were returned after their due dates.


Eva Poole, president of the Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association, said Austin’s losses “seem to be right on par.”


Meanwhile, the library has no formal system for replacing lost or stolen items. This year, for instance, the library allotted $2.8 million of its $26 million budget to purchase new books, CDs and other inventory, and officials said their top priority is replacing popular and classic works.

MUCH More in the Full Text Article

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.