WADSWORTH — Wadsworth Public Library has changed its policy on the number of items patrons can check out in the wake of the suspected theft of $5,100 worth of materials in April.
Patrons can have “any combination of materials on their cards, excluding video games, not to exceed 50 total items,” according to a library statement.
Video games will be limited to two games per account. Library patrons who previously had more than 50 items checked out will be allowed to renew all the items, but will not be able to borrow additional items until they have less than 50 items checked out.
“We did an analysis and learned that if you just look at that number 50, 95 percent of all circulation is borrowing less than 50 items,” library Director Daniel Slife said Monday.
The new borrowing policy was effective Saturday. Patrons previously were able to check out an unlimited number of items.
Slife said setting the limit at 50 seemed like a good balance for the library and patrons.
In addition to looking at the library’s own numbers, library officials checked policies at comparable libraries before making a decision, he said.
A June 6 police report says a library cardholder checked out 138 items — books and DVDs — valued at $5,100 on April 11 and failed to return them.
Wadsworth police Lt. Dave Dorland has said the items are being considered stolen.
“We just looked at that and thought about it in terms of moving forward and preventing something like this from happening again,” Slife said.
Following the incident, Slife said he received an email from a patron suggesting the library use the loss as an opportunity to evaluate its borrower policy.
“(This) was a good way to have a minimal impact for the vast majority of our regular borrowers, but also put a responsible limit on that so we can lower our risk after this unfortunate event,” he said.