Crimes & Criminals

The professionalization of library theft

The indication that an ordinary string of rare book thefts has evolved into a terrifying string of rare book thefts often comes down to this: the presence of a man whose sole job it is to get rid of library ownership marks. No other single trait indicates as certainly that a theft ring has moved from the amateur to the professional ranks. So while it seems encouraging that five people involved in the Girolamini Library thefts have been sentenced for their crimes, it had better only be the beginning of people being prosecuted. One of the men charged two months ago with playing a part in the scheme was a Bologna bookbinder whose job was to scrub books of their marks — and his presence, like that of a single cockroach, signals a much larger problem.

Library director owes us over $10,000 for personal expenses and leave, university tells state attorney

The University of South Florida, a public university in Tampa with over 41,000 students, has asked the state attorney to investigate a former library director.

An audit alleges that Beverly Shattuck, formerly director of the medical library at USF, sold her Tampa-area house and moved to Virginia Beach, VA, using university funds to purchase a MacBook Air, two iPads, and a camera, supposedly for telecommuting -- even though the University never approved her experiment in running an academic library from 800 miles away. USF could not identify any legitimate business purpose for the camera or the second iPad. The former library director also used university funds for thousands of dollars worth of travel expenses, the USF audit said, in order to travel back and forth to the Tampa campus. 

The most financially significant issue, according to the audit, was over 1,200 hours of unrecorded personal and sick leave. The university says it paid Shattuck over $11,000 in salary that she ought to have taken as unpaid leave when her paid annual leave had run out, and would have wrongfully paid her $35,723 more had the problem not been discovered.

After being placed on administrative leave following the suspension of her purchasing card, USF says, Beverly Shattuck voluntarily resigned. A local news investigation confirmed that she was permitted to retire with benefits from her $150,000+/year job. According to that investigation, a spokesman for the state attorney's office said that criminal charges are pending.

Miami Public Library's Statue stolen...again

The bronze statue of a young boy dreamily gazing into the sky as he reads from a book in his lap was discovered missing on Thursday morning.

The statue has been stolen before and recovered.

Full article

On the Media - Aaron Swartz

On January 11, 26-year-old hacker, programmer, and activist Aaron Swartz committed suicide. He had a history of depression and faced federal prosecution for downloading millions of articles from the online academic article repository JSTOR. Brooke talks to Gawker's Adrian Chen, who wrote about Swartz's legal troubles this week. Download MP3 of piece here.

Law Profs Look at the Aaron Swartz Case

Chris Meadows at TeleRead referred to the recent suicide of Internet activist Aaron Swartz as a gross miscarriage of justice. Law professor Orin Kerr digs into the basis of the charges that were filed against Swartz while law professor Ann Althouse questions the end result of the situation while noting that something does not add up.

LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #228

This week's program deals with Wikipedia hoaxing, an Internet icon, and a miscellany of brief items.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. The list of hardware sought to replace our ever-increasing damage control report can be found here and can be directly purchased and sent to assist The Air Staff in rebuilding to a more normal operations capability.

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LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #227

The tag line for this week's episode: "Information As Weapon"

We've got a bit of an essay talking about that in connection with an awful case in Ohio. Information might want to be free, but couldn't it also be used as a weapon?

There's no miscellany this week as we thought that that would be enough to consider within the realm of preserving the knowledge ecology.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net.

There is an opportunity available to purchase material goods to replace some of the hardware that has died at Erie Looking Productions over the past three weeks.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.

What Are You Doing About DVD Thefts in Public Libraries?

My library has experienced an extremely high rate of DVD thefts in the past 6 months and are looking into solutions to the problem. Some of the thefts, we beleive, are drug related.

Have public libraries experienced a spike in DVD thefts this year?

What are some of the reasons for this?

What are public libraries doing about the situation? What solutions are they looking into? What have they tried?

We also experience a high rate of periodical thefts as well.

Stealing iPads from a Baby

From the NY Daily News:

A sticky-fingered thief stole one of four iPads from the Children's section at the newly renovated branch of the Park Slope (Brooklyn NY) Library.

“It’s a shame that someone would go to such lengths to steal an iPad that was being used to engage and teach children in one of our libraries,” said BPL spokesman Jason Carey.

“Someone jimmied open the protective casing and took it out,” he said. “The casing was secured to the table.”

The Park Slope library is the first branch in the borough to have iPads only for the young.

The branch showed off the gizmos during its September 13th reopening of the renovated reading space which attracted the likes of legendary Brooklyn writer Pete Hamill and other Kings County bigwigs.

Ex-librarian gets little jail time for theft

Ex-librarian gets little jail time for theft
The support of the library district she stole from and ill effects of medication led to a milder sentence for a former St. Elmo library director Friday. She received a 30-day jail sentence despite recommendations from both state and defense attorneys and medical professionals she not be incarcerated.

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