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Educate and Train

The security policies and procedures adopted by your organization can be effective only if your staff, volunteers, and researchers understand them, are willing to uphold them, and are trained in their particular tasks. Create a supportive learning environment that includes security orientation and training for new staff and volunteers.

Explain your rules, policies and procedures related to theft and the reasons for them. Take the time to listen to people’s concerns and answer their questions. When they understand the importance of vigilance they will be more willing to support your efforts.

Make your rules, policies and procedures available in various formats and situations, including your website, written documents, and reminders. In the research room, post excerpts of laws related to historical records theft, and your organization’s rules and security-related policies and procedures. This serves as a reference and reminder for researchers and staff alike.

Protect the innocent. In your discussions of theft prevention, emphasize that clear policies and procedures not only deter theft but also protect individuals whose access to and interaction with records has been documented. Procedures, policies, and documentation are intended to protect holdings and the individuals who use them.

Invite staff input.  If possible, seek input from staff during the development of new policies and procedures. You will benefit from their suggestions and they will share in the positive results of the process. Before implementing any new policies, especially involving new restrictions or controls on staff, discuss them with the people affected and listen to their concerns.