Book vandalism

Yesterday I saw the first evidence of large-scale book vandalism at my current library, where I have been employed for over 9 years. I initially noticed three books in the 300s (DDC), including one about the Kent State shootings, with spines cut off. Shortly after our Circulation staff and students found multiple books (up to 400) in the 200s, especially 238s (Christianity, catechisms, creeds, etc.) had either spines cut off or tops or bottoms of spines ripped off. No spines or other evidence has been found on the shelves or in the trash. Given the lack of remains being left around, the instances seem to point to an end purpose of the defacing, e.g., using the book spines for an art or design project, making a craft to sell online, etc.

If your library has had instances of similar vandalism, have the perpetrators and a motive been found? Also, what have your libraries done to reduce the likelihood of recurrences?



This brings to mind a similar issue. In the past, I've seen books being checked out and later not returned. My suspicion is that due to the controversial nature of the content (political/religious/social), someone decided to make the material unavailable to library patrons. As you know, it takes a long time to finally process and hopefully replace material that has been marked as "lost" in the system. Titles that reflect current politics may never be replaced.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.