redngold
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Mutilating Library Materials = %$#&^%*!

Thu Oct 13, 2005 10:43 am

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

Edit: changed topic

[Edited 2005-10-13 04:06:15]
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aa757first
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RE: Mutilating Library Materials = %$#&^%*!

Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:02 am

Can't you bill them for the damage?

AAndrew
 
redngold
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RE: Mutilating Library Materials = %$#&^%*!

Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:04 am

Not if we don't know who did it. This one was damaged before checkout.

[Edited 2005-10-13 04:05:12]
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LFutia
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RE: Mutilating Library Materials = %$#&^%*!

Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:07 am

Quoting Redngold (Thread starter):
I darn you to HECK!

uhh dont you mean i damn you to hell?
Leo/ORD -- Groetjes uit de VS! -- Heeft u laatst nog met KLM gevlogen?
 
redngold
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RE: Mutilating Library Materials = %$#&^%*!

Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:09 am

Quoting LFutia (Reply 3):

uhh dont you mean i damn you to hell?

Not my place to say that. I prefer the Dilbert quote.
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SATL382G
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RE: Mutilating Library Materials = %$#&^%*!

Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:20 am

Quoting LFutia (Reply 3):
uhh dont you mean i damn you to hell?

Sort of the ultimate library fine I'd say.  Smile If Red could pull it off though she'd no longer have problems like this. Then she could expand....

Talking above whisper level: Fine: Eternal Damnation
Book a day late: Fine: No afterlife virgins for you
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
dl021
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RE: Mutilating Library Materials = %$#&^%*!

Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:33 am

I am heartily in favor of reciprocating punishment for those who abuse books.

Mutilation for mutilation. I don't even like to dogear paperbacks.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
redngold
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RE: Mutilating Library Materials = %$#&^%*!

Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:33 am

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:  wink 
Talking in normal voice:  expressionless 
Talking in a loud voice:  shhh 
Talking on your cell phone:  taekwondo  until the call is over
Talking back to RedNGold, take one:  no 
Talking back to RedNGold, take two:  grumpy 
Talking back to RedNGold, take three:  talktothehand   taekwondo   wave 

Most of my colleagues are considered kind of  snooty  but I'm known for being a little  crazy  and  hyper ... Unless, of course, you're talking about deliberate damage to a book.  mad 
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redngold
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RE: Mutilating Library Materials = %$#&^%*!

Sun Oct 16, 2005 10:45 am

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.  Angry Alas, I'm pretty sure it is an orphan book and that I will have to continue with repair.


redngold
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MEA-707
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RE: Mutilating Library Materials = %$#&^%*!

Sun Oct 16, 2005 8:40 pm

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
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RE: Mutilating Library Materials = %$#&^%*!

Sun Oct 16, 2005 8:45 pm

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
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)
 
captaingomes
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RE: Mutilating Library Materials = %$#&^%*!

Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:15 am

There is no respect for librarians and their assistants!  hissyfit 
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
redngold
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RE: Mutilating Library Materials = %$#&^%*!

Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:49 am

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.


redngold

[Edited 2005-10-16 22:52:34]

[Edited 2005-10-16 22:53:32]
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