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Let this be a lesson to criminals everywhere: if you steal $35,000 worth of library materials, you'll probably get caught. Maybe.
Some guy in the Denver area was convicted of stealing library materials, a reported 1,400 items. One library system estimates his overdues at $11,000.
See, this is why people steal from libraries. You can run up huge fines for unreturned items, which could go to a collection agency, but more often just gets added to your account. And the idea that he could have out 300 items on each of of his seven library cards is amazing. "'One day when he tried to check out a 100 (items) or so, we said: 'That's probably enough.''"
AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! That's probably enough? No, that freaking is enough! Now that the asshole is convicted, did you go back and deduct those circulation statistics from last year's totals? No, of course not. All you care about are the numbers.
These libraries are just begging people to steal from them. So many libraries don't require any ID for a library card. Or they allow unlimited borrowing privileges. You have people who wonder how our profession is crapped-upon by the public and our elected officials; it's because we devalue ourselves!
We are caretakers of privacy and we are caretakers of property. We are given a responsibility to manage all this property, and we continue to perpetuate an environment where criminals thrive. "Sure, take 200 DVDs. Sure, hang around in the bathroom for hours. Sure, intimidate other patrons and library staff."
You can hate me if you want, by my library will not turn into a freaking circus on my watch.
And for all you would-be thieves, here is lesson one on how to steal library materials:
Get some Avery 8160 labels and print out this image. That gives you 30 automatic Withdrawn stickers. Now, when you steal crap to sell on Craigslist, put a sticker over the library label or somewhere on the title page so the customers don't get too suspicious.
Or ideally, move to Denver, but keep your check-outs to 99 items at a time.
[effinglibrarian.blogspot.com is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hallliburrton and does not condone stealing (...small amounts). But really, don't steal.]