Appleton Public Library says thefts are rare despite recent incident

APPLETON, Wi (WBAY) - The Appleton Police Department turned to social media Monday for help in a theft investigation at the library.

Details aren’t being released because it is still an open investigation, but according to Appleton’s public library theft isn’t something that happens often.

“We’re at, you know, 200,000 to 300,000 items so we check out almost a million items in a year so it’s a lot to keep track of,” said Library Director Colleen Rortvedt.

But even with that many items going in and out, Rortvedt says theft isn’t a huge problem.

“It’s pretty rare that something happens that’s a bigger deal so I think that’s because we have systems in place that take this into account,” said Rortvedt.

Their current security and inventory system, which was upgraded about ten years ago, uses some of the basics like a security guard, cameras, and detectors at the doors. Rortvedt says modernizing the system also allowed them to more easily manage of their inventory.

“That system helps us keep things organized and helps us deter theft,” said Rortvedt. "It is much better at keeping track of materials and the processes [than] the different systems we had before that."

Allowing them to keep their items accounted for while also fulfilling the ultimate purpose of the public library.

“It’s our mission to have people come here and use things and learn and explore, so it’s a big part of what we do,” said Rortvedt.

Appleton Police did receive the information needed. WBAY will continue to update as more details are released.