How many times will you replace items that get ripped off?

We let patrons use headphones and we provide privacy screens and sometimes these things go missing. We also let the patrons use scissors, staplers, calculators, and magnifiers, and they sometimes *forget* to return them.

Maybe they think these things are Free. Maybe because we don't put price tags on these things, they think they can take them home. Like the books and DVDs that they forget to check out on their library cards.

Are there things, conveniences, that you don't provide because they get stolen? Are there things you used to give out, but don't anymore because you're tired of replacing them?

We give away our pencils, staples, tape, paper clips, and we expect to replace these, but we don't expect to lose the pencil cups, staplers, tape dispensers or paper clip holders.

Maybe we should put prices on everything. Not that this would deter theft, but it might make the librarians fight to get the calculator back if it had a $2.00 sticker on it.

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Have you thought of attaching them to the desk with cable? No, I'm not kidding. Like DMV pens.

At my library we have one stapler, tape dispenser, hole punch, and 1 set of scissors at the reference desk. If someone needs to use these items we ask that the person bring their work to the desk and use our office supplies there. Otherwise, not only could they go missing but they could be used in "attack mode" against the books. This way, if someone persists in cutting up our magazines, they can't use our scissors to do it and can't use the argument "the librarian gave it to me so it must be okay to use it as I see fit." As for white out or correction tape, we don't even keep those in the public areas.

If it gets "ripped-off" once...then it's gone! I'm not going to keep replacing materials that grow wings or feet.

And this is just my belief...most of the "pop-culture" items that get ripped off are just that "Pop-Culture" and tend to lose their high interest value pretty mostly I never buy them to begin with. Case in point would be music cd's with "explicit lyrics", certain anime, or certain popular films.

Headphones can be unsanitary, so we Do Not provide those. Scissors, yes, but they have to use them at the desk in front of us.

Expendable supplies....we are out of scotch tape and have been for a month & a half now, no lie! We have no $$$ to purchase supplies, so we use rubberbands when we can. I have one of the last remaining rolls of tape, and by gosh, NOBODY dares to use it, they know better!


The headphones and privacy screens probably should be checked out just like anything else. Every library I know that offers headphones you check them out.

Brian C. Gray