Public libraries and embezzlement: An examination of internal control and financial misconduct

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Julia A Hersberger, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Embezzlement and similar crimes of financial misconduct are a growing area of concern for library managers and trustees. Library budgets have increased dramatically during the past twenty years, but this has not been accompanied by a corresponding increase in financial management techniques. This study investigated a national sample of ten states and an in-depth case study of one state (Indiana) using the technique of internal control (a subspecialty of auditing), both to understand how the embezzlements occurred and to suggest areas of improvement in library financial management to deter future cases of embezzlement. Libraries that experienced embezzlement tend to lack internal practices, a condition that may be common to many public libraries. Two general findings emerged from the study: embezzlement is a continuing problem in public libraries, and better training in financial management for librarians and library board members should increase awareness of the risks of embezzlement and significantly deter embezzlement.

Additional Information

Library Quarterly, 67, 1-23
Language: English
Date: 1997
embezzlement, public libraries, library management

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