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Home > General Discussion > LIBRARY CAMERAS – NOPE

  • ChefJ April 22, 2013 - 5:56 pm #71304 Reply

    Several weeks ago our baby-sitter’s handbag was stolen from a baby-stroller in the Arlington Central Library during a morning story time reading.   While we were happy to know that our baby was NOT among the missing items, it is truly alarming that this sort of theft occurs in a crowded library.  More concerning is the fact that there are no security cameras of any kind in the library.  I have outfitted my business with a web-cam based security system that can store color video and sound data for months, and very cheaply too.  Any thoughts as to why there are no video security measures in-place at the library???

    BTW – Babysitter’s purse, never recovered.  Have switched to story-time at Cherrydale, which is now a drive instead of a short walk/stroll.



    novasteve April 23, 2013 - 7:40 am #71313 Reply

    I think lots of homeless people make use of the library as a home, thus they can’t have cameras there as an invasion of privacy.

    hermitcrab April 23, 2013 - 7:49 am #71314 Reply

    If you want to actually ask the library, you can do so here: http://arlingtonva.us/Scripts/FeedbackForm.aspx?to=libraries&dom=arlingtonva.us. Someone really does read the comments and respond to them.

    John Fontain April 23, 2013 - 5:17 pm #71379 Reply

    “BTW - Babysitter's purse, never recovered.  Have switched to story-time at Cherrydale, which is now a drive instead of a short walk/stroll.”

    Wouldn’t it be simpler to not bring the purse or to keep the purse on her person (as opposed to leaving it unattended)?

    R. Griffon April 24, 2013 - 9:42 am #71401 Reply

    I’d guess there are no cameras due to the expense of such system combined with a low number of crimes at those locations and the relatively low value of the property’s contents (which is probably why there’s fairly little crime). I’m really sorry that it happened, but one should always secure their valuables in a public place. And don’t let it put you off of your local library – you’ve got every bit as much chance of the same thing happening at another library or at the mall for example. Central Library is an awesome place and if you’re lucky enough to live walking distance from it you should take full advantage. Don’t let this bad experience put you off. Then “they win/you loose” and all that…

    Curious about your own solution though as I’ve been thinking about one for my home. Would you care to share any pointers or lessons learned in selecting such a system?

    arlingtonpubliclibrary May 1, 2013 - 4:12 pm #71882 Reply

    Arlington Public Library does have working security cameras that record activity in Central Library. The Library also has a very professional security team that patrols library locations and works with the Arlington County Police Department.

    Never hesitate to ask for Library staff assistance and if you have any questions concerning security or anything else related to the Library, you can do so with the information on this page: http://library.arlingtonva.us/ask-a-librarian/


    novasteve May 1, 2013 - 4:13 pm #71883 Reply

    I guess they don’t want to catch homeless men exposing themselves on camera.

    Suburban Not Urban May 1, 2013 - 5:12 pm #71901 Reply

    It’s interesting that nothing about security camera’s appears on the Arlington Public Library website(atleast as far as I can tell).

    If you are interested in an ALA take on the privacy vs security discussion there was a recent presentation at


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