In accordance with New Jersey P.L. 1985, Ch. 373, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-12 et seq., the following sign shall be posted prominently at the primary entrances and exits of all Rutgers University Libraries:
IN ORDER TO PREVENT THE THEFT OF BOOKS AND LIBRARY MATERIAL, STATE LAW AUTHORIZES THE DETENTION FOR A REASONABLE PERIOD OF ANY PERSON USING THESE FACILITIES WHO IS SUSPECTED OF COMMITTING A THEFT OF LIBRARY MATERIAL.
The above law provides that any individual who purposely conceals, on or off the premises of a library facility, upon his person or belongings (or on another or belongings of another) any library materials shall be initially presumed to have concealed the materials for the purpose of theft of those materials. The act governs the circumstances under which a library employee may detain an individual for the purposes of recovering willfully concealed library material, as follows:
"A law enforcement officer, a special officer, or an employee of a library facility who has probable cause for believing that a person has willfully concealed library material and that he can recover the material by taking the person into custody, may, for the purpose of attempting to recover the material, take the person into custody and detain him in a reasonable manner for reasonable time."
Note that the standard is "probable cause," not mere conjecture. Physical force should never be used by a library employee. Civil and criminal immunity is given to any law enforcement officer, special officer, or library employee who detains a person in accordance with the law.
Where there is probable cause for the arrest of a library patron, a law enforcement officer only may arrest without a warrant. However, any library employee who causes the arrest of a library patron shall be held harmless when the employee has probable cause for believing that the person arrested committed the theft of library material.
Librarian's Cabinet 5/5/86
If library material is detected by a 3M system, ask the patron if all books have been charged out. Ask to see the books.
If a patron is clearly removing materials not charged out or non-circulating, do not assume theft. In some cases it may be an oversight. Remind the patron to charge out all circulating items and explain that some materials do not circulate.
If it is clear that library material is being intentionally stolen or if the library employee has reasonable grounds for thinking that the material is being stolen (for example, the barcode has been stripped from item; or labels have been removed; or stamped library name has been altered), then:
If Library material is being mutilated:
Note: In the Robeson Library in Camden the presence of a campus security guard will require special application of these procedures.
Consult the Office of Student Conduct web site (http://judicialaffairs.rutgers.edu/) and select "FAQ." Under Questions from Complainants, select "How do I file a complaint?" where you will find a link to the online form and lists of conduct officers for each campus.