Redngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 51 Posted (7 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 707 times:
So here I sit at my desk, working late, because yet again, someone pulled pages out of a library book. They didn't razor them, so luckily there's less residual damage, but now I'm scraping the left over pieces of paper out from where they tore the pages.
There are over 40 pages missing from this 264 page book.
It wouldn't bother me so much if the person lost the book - then we would replace it. What makes me royally p*ssed off is that whoever did this left what remains for us to mend and put back on the shelf... missing a huge chunk of information.
We also had once rebound this book. That means we already spent money to make sure that this valuable item was in the best shape possible for circulation.
So to anyone out there who would rather mutilate library material than make copies or purchase a new book for themselves, I say:
I darn you to HECK!
Redngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 51 Reply 7, posted (7 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 642 times:
Quoting SATL382G (Reply 5): If Red could pull it off though she'd no longer have problems like this.
We're pretty liberal with the rules here in my library. Here are my rules:
Talking in whisper:
Talking in normal voice:
Talking in a loud voice:
Talking on your cell phone: until the call is over
Talking back to RedNGold, take one:
Talking back to RedNGold, take two:
Talking back to RedNGold, take three:
Most of my colleagues are considered kind of but I'm known for being a little and ... Unless, of course, you're talking about deliberate damage to a book.
Redngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 51 Reply 8, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 589 times:
Update: my supervisor is now considering deaccessioning (read: throwing out) this book... if we have other books about the same artist. This, after I finished prepping it for repair. Alas, I'm pretty sure it is an orphan book and that I will have to continue with repair.
MEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4117 posts, RR: 37 Reply 9, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 552 times:
If I would run a library I would come up with some procedures to avoid things like this.
- Check bags at the entrance and open spaces to read so people can't damage books while inside.
- Borrowing histories of individual books so it can be traced back who took the book home lately, and patterns can be found as they likely have ripped out pages in multiple books.
- Ask people to check the state of the materials either when they borrow and have them feedback when they bring them back, like a leased car.
- If they fail to report damage, they can be charged for the discovered damage.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
Mrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 10, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 548 times:
What a heartbraking story, in the name of God! Being someone who has spend millions of hours in libraries while being a student, I understand this anger.. you look for a book, and the best part is ripped out... it's horrible
Redngold From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 6907 posts, RR: 51 Reply 12, posted (7 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 505 times:
MEA, you have some good ideas, and I'll comment on them below:
Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 11): - Check bags at the entrance and open spaces to read so people can't damage books while inside.
Since we have a very small library, we do not have space for a bag check. We have confidence that our security system catches materials that haven't been "desensitized" so outright theft is a minor problem, if at all.
Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 11): - Borrowing histories of individual books so it can be traced back who took the book home lately, and patterns can be found as they likely have ripped out pages in multiple books.
Borrowing history is considered confidential, and now that we have an automated circulation system, we can only find out who the "last patron" was to borrow an individual item. We cannot, and never have been able to, check an individual patron's borrowing history. However, if circulation staff notice that a certain patron seems to be returning damaged materials, they are supposed to notify the Library Director so she can take action.
The nice thing about out software and the confidentiality protections is that if the FBI tries to subpoena borrowing histories under the USA PATRIOT Act, we won't have very much to give them.
Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 11): - Ask people to check the state of the materials either when they borrow and have them feedback when they bring them back, like a leased car.
We do ask people to notify us and most responsible patrons will already do this. We also make a note of preexisting damage prior to check-out.
For example, I was the one who performed the check-out transaction on this book. I left a note in the circulation record that said "Damaged before checkout. Send to TS Office for repair. //my initials, date//" because I noticed that some pages were loose as I was checking the book out. I did this specifically because I did not want to have that patron be held responsible for the preexisting damage. Unfortunately, that does leave the possibility that this latest patron contributed to overall damage, but we don't assume guilt.
Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 11): - If they fail to report damage, they can be charged for the discovered damage.
Unfortunately, unless the book is in pristine condition prior to checkout and the damage is obvious when it is returned, we can't assume that the last patron who borrowed the book is the one who damaged it. Some damage - torn pages, highlighting, paint stains, water damage - is obvious, but single pages, pulled or razored out cleanly, leave damage that is more subtle and difficult to detect. In addition, some books have poor bindings from the beginning, so such damage as loose hinges and signatures (those "loops" you see at the top and bottom of a book) may be a result of normal wear and tear. We don't charge patrons for normal wear and tear, and we don't want to charge a patron for replacement cost just because s/he was the last person to borrow a book that was damaged by someone else.
Ultimately, the confidentiality issue cuts both ways. We protect the patron's right to view material at any time without repercussions, but in some ways we tie our own hands with respect to tracking down those who damage materials. Personally, I think that when we find books with pages missing, it's more likely those pages were removed while the item was in the library and not checked out. It's less likely that a patron who can borrow the book will mutilate it since they already have three weeks' protected access to the contents. Since we don't go around looking at and watching patron behavior in our library (we are part of a small and relatively liberal institution) it's difficult to figure out who is responsible for what damage takes place on-site.