Crimes & Criminals

Stop, thief! All in a librarian’s work

day about 20 years ago, librarians at the state Archive had their eye on a suspicious-looking visitor who was known to have a criminal record. After he left, one of the staff members flew urgently back to the boss’s office.
He just took off with the book!

The Book Thief: The True Crimes of Daniel Spiegelman

I was at a library conference this last weekend and I attended a talk by Travis McDade who is the author of The Book Thief: The True Crimes of Daniel Spiegelman. (Link is to the author's website) You may have heard of this book through a mention on BookTV. CSPAN ran a piece about the book. The book is about Daniel Spiegelman who stole $18 million of rare books and letters from Columbia U.'s library in the spring of 1994.

The author of the book is a librarian so purchasing the book will help a fellow member of the profession. In his talk the author mentioned that he was not happy with the price that the publisher put on the book. ($49) Libraries may have been the target market for the book so the price might have been set for that market. The talk the author gave was very interesting. Librarians in the room that had read the book said that they enjoyed it. If your library does not have this book you might want to consider getting a copy.

The author has a blog that you can see here.

Refuge for readers can be risky

One more from California this morning, This Time it's from LA, where some L.A. libraries face increasing disruptions from thugs, vandals and other troublemakers. Plans are underway to beef up security. At the Jefferson branch, six windows were smashed this month by gang members seeking a man who hid inside until police gave him a ride home. At the Exposition branch, an August shooting outside the library's main door prevented patrons from leaving until security arrived. Last spring, a principal at a charter school sent a letter to parents, urging students not to go to the Hyde Park-Miriam Matthews Public Library because children were being "taunted, harassed and intimidated by the students [from nearby schools]."

Great News: They're Stealing Our Books!

The Frankfurt Book Fair has an unusual indicator to help publishers gauge public interest in the new literary offerings presented at the annual exhibition. It's the unofficial "most stolen book" index.

6 MI libraries robbed recently

The Plainfield Library and five other libraries in Ottawa and Kent (Michigan) counties are unlikely robbery targets, but they have been hit recently.

Libraries don't have much cash on hand, and the value commodities, like computers, are hard to take on the run.

Police believe one person is responsible for all seven robberies, five at The Plainfield Library, Comstock Park Library, Krause Memorial Library in Rockford, Northeast Ottawa District Library in Coopersville, Ravenna Library, and two at the Sparta Library.

Teen Vandalizes Bakersfield CA Library

birdie writes "Story from the Bakersfield CA ABC-affiliate station: Residents in northeast Bakersfield are upset and questioning why a teenager would vandalize their local library branch.

The act of vandalism took place around 2 a.m. Sunday, when a drunken 16-year-old boy used a cement sewer cover to smash the exterior windows of the library then proceeded to knock over bookshelves and use fire extinguishers to spray fire retardant all over the library."

Flags Stolen off Flagpoles at Tennessee Library

The Humboldt Public Library is minus one Tennessee state flag and two U.S. flags. Whodunit?

VA school librarian arrested in online sex sting

EEk! A Nelson County Middle School librarian who is also a high school track coach was arrested Friday after authorities said he initiated a sexual conversation online this summer with an undercover police officer.

Tim Bennett is charged with one count of use of a communications system to facilitate certain offenses involving children and one count of taking indecent liberties with children, both felonies.

Italy seizes ancient books from "priestly" thief

Italy's art police have seized ancient books and paintings worth 650,000 euros (453,000 pounds) from the house of a man they suspect stole them from public libraries and state archives -- sometimes disguised as a priest.

Police said on Monday the suspect, a Roman in his mid-forties, would dress himself in priest's robes or wait for hours hidden in the bathrooms and cupboards of libraries to make off with texts and drawings dating from the 17th and 18th centuries.

"The Librarian" Collection Includes Guns, Silencers and Ammo

Everytime I think I've seen it all, something new comes up. This Time it's part of a story out of the UK on a murder. They mention a "chilling underworld figure known only as The Librarian."
The Librarian was thought to be a mythical figure, someone who was a figment of the imagination until police discovered he, and his gun-lending business, were real.

He is thought to have loaned guns, in return for a sizeable fee, to high-profile criminals who cannot afford to keep a weapon on them at all times and teen gangs such as the Strand Gang and the Croxteth Crew.
The long-term investigation was launched after the discovery that weapons were being lent, library-style, by criminals.

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