Librarian Ire

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Imbecilic paper abusers

Today I was happily in the stacks looking for books. And then my happiness was dashed. I saw the victims of an imbecilic paper abuser. Some cruel, vicious, and over educated idiot had abused several books.

First were the left-overs. These are pieces of paper left in books. They range from tiny scraps of paper marking a place to post-it notes(AUGH!) to folded magazine articles left in a poor defenceless book.
The post-it notes, or stickies, are bad for books as the glue leaves an attractive residue for bugs and dirt. And the large pieces of folded paper damage the binding by cracking the spine. And the acid in the paper gets soaked up and speeds the deterioration of the book. All of this is bad. But fixable. But we still don't want it to happen!
The people who leave paper clips, toothpicks and other debris in books should be confined to a special level of Hell. The damage done here is harder to fix. Almost impossible to clean rust off paper.

Second are the writers. People who don't have the sense or decency to leave paper in books. They decide that they need to supplement the authors' thoughts with their superior(not!) knowledge of the subject by adding comments and highlighting passages and underlining in pen. This is even worse. It's plain and simple vandalism.
Do it to your own books. Leave ours alone. That's why they have bookstores. So you can buy books to use.

Third are the dog-earers. These people have no idea what a bookmark is for. And since everything in the book is relevant to whatever they are studying they dog ear pages willy-nilly. And when it's REALLY important they feel a deep need to fold down half the page.
The only time you need to dog ear a page is when you are performing an MIT paper test. If I knew who was doing this I'd cut off their hands!
There are circumstances when we should incorporate the Code Of Hammarabi into library policies.

And of course when one of these victims of abuse needs to be replaced or rebound it is then the abusers return to complain about not being able to check it out because it isn't available. Well, of course not. You have shortened it's life and deprived others of years of enjoyment.
We have to start cracking down on all types of abuse. And make the abusers pay!

2 comment(s):

Although, if, like Hammurabi, we carved a categorized list of our laws onto a giant black stone and posted it directly inside our library patrons would just walk by it.

"What do you mean I can't write in the books?! I don't see that posted anywhere!"

"I didn't know you charged fines for overdue books. Nobody told me about it when I took the book out 3 years ago!"

Did you know that Demco doesn't sell tasers? Neither does Highsmith. And they claim to meet the needs of librarians!

By Blogger Loki, at 11:36 AM  

I wasn't planning on posting it. Just implementing it. Once you make an example of someone with something like that word travels fast.
Especially with 24 hour news networks.

By Blogger Nike, at 4:20 PM  

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