Theft and mutilation of print collection in university libraries: A critical review of literature and proposed framework for action

Maidabino, A A


University libraries strive to provide information resources in both print and non-print formats. Library managers and administrators need to strike a balance between access and security of the resources. This paper examines a number of published literatures on library security, in particular, the different incidences of theft and mutilation as they relate to print collections in university libraries. Major forms of theft and mutilation identified from the literature includes theft by patrons and insider theft, tearing of book pages, writing on the pages of the books and marking of books content, all of which could temper with the actual subject matter of the book materials. The strategic and managerial measures for effective collection protection of library collections are also identified, evaluated and reported. The paper recommends the implementation of collection security management plan as a viable way of protection against theft and mutilation of materials in university libraries. The plan should include policy formulation and implementation, user awareness campaign, education and training of staff on the protection of collections. The paper concludes by proposing ‘a framework for action which could serve as a guide for university librarians and stakeholders to ensure the protection of their library collection. In addition, it is hoped that it will serve as means of reawakening and reinforcing the awareness of university management aboutcollection security breaches.


Library Security; Collection Security; University Libraries

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