Submitted by Lee Hadden on August 7, 2013 - 8:26am
The FBI has posted images of 57 rare books and maps in hopes of finding the owners:
After a well-known dealer of rare maps was caught stealing from a Yale University library in 2006, a subsequent FBI investigation revealed that the man had stolen antique maps and other valuable items from institutions around the world. Most of the pilfered material was eventually returned to its rightful owners—but not all of it.
*We are still in possession of 57 rare maps and books—some dating to
the 17th century—and we would like to return them.* To that end, we are posting pictures and information about the items in the accompanying photo gallery in the hopes that the individuals or institutions who own them will come forward to claim them.
“These items have been legally forfeited to the U.S. government,” said Bonnie Magness-Gardiner, who manages the FBI’s Art Theft Program. “Technically, they belong to the Bureau now, but we don’t want to keep them. Even though we have tried to find the rightful owners over the years, we are making another attempt.”
After Edward Forbes Smiley, III was arrested for the Yale library theft http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2006/september/maps092806,
he admitted stealing and selling nearly 100 rare maps from international collections over a period of seven years. With Smiley’s cooperation, we tracked down most of the dealers and collectors who purchased the approximately $3 million worth of stolen material. But returning the maps to their homes proved to be a daunting task.
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on July 23, 2013 - 8:23am
The normal quiet of a northwest Atlanta library was shattered last week when two gunmen came in and robbed the library staff and patrons.
Seven people were in the Perry Homes branch of the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library System on Bolton Road when the hold-up happened last Friday afternoon, according to Channel 2 Action News.
“I heard a woman scream and I looked around, and a guy said, ‘You know what this is, get on the ground.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on June 16, 2013 - 2:22am
When a gunman entered the campus library, the aides moved into a closet and blocked the doors, drawing his attention away from dozens of students cramming for finals.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on June 3, 2013 - 10:04am
Crooks are stealing pieces of American history -- like conman Barry Landau who committed the largest archival theft in the U.S. Bob Simon reports. See full piece here.
Submitted by StephenK on May 28, 2013 - 6:01pm
Submitted by Blake on April 11, 2013 - 10:29am
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.
Submitted by Ben on April 1, 2013 - 10:30am
<p>The University of South Florida, a public university in Tampa with over 41,000 students, <a href="http://usf.wtsp.com/news/news/215642-librarian-steals-thousands-usf">has asked the state attorney to investigate a former library director</a>.</p><p>An audit <a href="http://www.wtsp.com/assetpool/documents/130328070158_USF%20Investigation.pdf">alleges</a> 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
Submitted by Bibliofuture on January 26, 2013 - 5:34pm
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.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on January 20, 2013 - 2:12pm
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.
Submitted by StephenK on January 14, 2013 - 9:46pm
Submitted by StephenK on January 13, 2013 - 11:36pm
This week's program deals with Wikipedia hoaxing, an Internet icon, and a miscellany of brief items.
- The Daily Mail: The war that never was: Most elaborate Wikipedia hoax ever as 4,500 word article on 'Bicholim Conflict' - a fictitious fight for Goan independence - fooled site for FIVE YEARS
- Yahoo News: War is over: Imaginary ‘Bicholim Conflict’ page removed from Wikipedia after five years
- PC World: Fake Wikipedia entry on Bicholim Conflict finally deleted after five years
- The Register: Anger grows over the death of Aaron Swartz -- Internet prodigy hounded to suicide claims family
- Althouse: "Prosecutor as bully."
- Threat Level: Aaron Swartz, Coder and Activist, Dead at 26
- EFF Deeplinks: Farewell to Aaron Swartz, an Extraordinary Hacker and Activist
- Reuters: Internet activist, programmer Aaron Swartz dead at 26
- BoingBoing: RIP, Aaron Swartz
- PCMag.com: Family of Aaron Swartz Blames U.S. Attorney's Office in Statement
- Legal Insurrection: Sad irony in Aaron Swartz case
- Patterico's Pontifications: EXCLUSIVE: Attorney for Aaron Swartz: Prosecutors’ Arguments Were “Disingenuous and Contrived”
- New York Times: Failing to Close the ‘Digital Divide’
- It's Not About the Books: Mission creep – a 3D printer will not save your library
- PCMag.com: FCC Chairman Wants to Ease Wi-Fi Congestion
- The Verge: JSTOR begins offering free yet limited access to its online academic library
- Public Libraries News: Discovery, warmth, knowledge, dreams, welcoming … what’s your five words to describe public libraries?
- Voices for the Library: Concern over loss of Arts Council England Libraries post
- Megan McCardle: Is Barnes and Noble Next?
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.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit
Submitted by StephenK on January 6, 2013 - 11:57pm
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on October 4, 2012 - 1:08pm
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.
Submitted by birdie on October 3, 2012 - 10:00am
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.
Submitted by Blake on September 25, 2012 - 9:29am
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.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 14, 2012 - 8:06am
A brazen thief strolled into the lower level of the Bailey / Howe Library last year and walked off with the letters. Federal prosecutors said the crook was Barry Landau, whom they described as a con man masquerading as a presidential researcher and historian. Landau pled guilty and was sentenced in June to seven years in prison for plundering a string of libraries and archives along the East Coast. Investigators said Landau planned to sell the autographs to collectors.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 7, 2012 - 8:24am
Japanese police have arrested a 61-year-old man accused of stealing more than 1,100 library books.
Officials say Mitsuka Suizu was initially arrested in July for taking a few books from the public library in Nagato, in western Japan. When police searched his home in the city of Ube, Suizu admitted to taking 1,170 books over a seven-year period, and stashing them at home, where he lived with his wife and two children.
Submitted by Blake on August 21, 2012 - 1:40pm
Harry Hay screenplay missing, library suspects theft
The San Francisco Public Library appears to have been the victim of a screenplay heist.
On July 30, main library staff discovered that the 1938 screenplay “Largo: A Story Out of the Life of George Friederich Handel” was missing from a locked plexiglass case in the Jewett Gallery. The screenplay was on display as part of the “Radically Gay: The Life of Harry Hay” exhibit, which ran from April 21 to July 29.
Submitted by Blake on August 16, 2012 - 7:52am
Kids in Orleans County sometimes complain there’s little to do in the Northeast Kingdom, but police say a few turned to midnight mischief at two public libraries and a Town Hall to help pass the time.
Books were rearranged. Furniture was piled almost to the ceiling. A needed date stamp went missing.
“The children’s books were moved to the adult section. The adult books were moved into the children’s room. They just took handfuls of books and were just shelving them,” Eubanks said about the May mischief at the Glover library. She said chairs and tables were stacked at Town Hall that night, too.