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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's Called Stealing

Prudish twit reads [probably an achievement in itself] library book, is scandalized, checks out both copies and refuses to return them. Jo Ann, get your Karkass back to the library pronto and pay your fines! Or maybe I'll check out a whole bunch of bibles and sit on them. Yeah, let's all start censoring now. Great.

UPDATED: Jo Ann won't stop censoring. So it has come to this.

Damn right.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is called a crime when the person who has checked out the books did so wit the intent not to return them.

Check with the powers that be and consider a Police Report along with a ban on that person's entry into the library on pain of prosecution for Trespass.

The public (or, private institution) that paid for those books have been deprived of their property.

Finally: HOW, EXACTLY does somebody check out the same book twice? Don't you folks have a little list of outstanding books checked out? Can't a human look over the list?

Frankly - I think that the book thief should be tied to a post and roasted over a nice big bonfire of Dembski's & O'Leary's books. Perhaps Ms. O'Leary's cow could start the fire. It HAS a historical antecedent.

September 19, 2007 10:50 AM  
Blogger Rev. Barking Nonsequitor said...

I think there was a skit on Second City about "Library police" once. I can't find it on youtube - yet.

September 19, 2007 10:54 AM  
Blogger Martyne said...

I hate those who abuse library's. Death is too good for such people. I recognise the pic of the bull. It comes from a collection entitled "The last picture I ever took".

September 19, 2007 1:11 PM  
Blogger Cat's Staff said...

Didn't they come to take a picture of your personal library... They got all the other good ones.

September 19, 2007 3:01 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Don't you folks have a little list of outstanding books checked out?

I suspect that a little innovation named “Self-checkout” probably enables this to happen.

Can't a human look over the list?

Oh, sure. ;-) With hundreds of patrons checking out thousands of books? And librarians increasingly called upon to act like social workers and soothe the patrons who act out, baby-sit other people’s kids (some parents basically abandon their kids in the library), provide showers for homeless people (I am not kidding), along with monitoring all the people who want to eat/drink/have sex in the stacks, write in the books, pound the photocopier into submission, all while being asked to show people how to use the computer, help people fill out their taxes, help kids with homework, etc.? Nuh-uh.

In addition, more and more librarians are destroying the records of patrons’ checkout items so that when the FBI comes calling, armed with a Patriot Act demand for info, the librarian can shake his/her head and say, “Sorry, we don’t have that information,” because they feel that the government should MIND ITS OWN BEESWAX! (A librarian cannot ask why a patron wants any particular book or material, so why should the bureaucrats?) :-)

September 19, 2007 3:21 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

All I found was this, Rev. Barky.

September 19, 2007 4:45 PM  
Blogger Rev. Barking Nonsequitor said...

Yes, thats exactly it.

I didn't realize it was the promo!

That may explain why the skit wasn't that funny, but SCTV got better after the cast got to work with each other more.

September 19, 2007 7:37 PM  
Anonymous AJ Milne said...

Me, I found myself thinking of this.

(Was also a 'Mother Goose and Grimm' skit that used the same phrase, lo these many years ago.)

September 19, 2007 8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that those books cost in excess of one English shilling. Couple hundred years ago, theft of a shilling or more was a capital crime. Hurrah for old laws!!! String the book stealers up. Let the Universe sort them out.

September 19, 2007 11:05 PM  
Anonymous JanieBelle said...

"Oh, sure. ;-) With hundreds of patrons ... along with monitoring all the people who want to ... have sex in the stacks, ... etc.? Nuh-uh."

Yeah. About that.




September 20, 2007 4:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I suspect that a little innovation named “Self-checkout” probably enables this to happen."

What? The database can't lookup the same patron's account for the ISBN/Library of Congress CIP data?

If it is "self-checkout" what prevents tampering with the anti-theft device and just taking the book?

My spouse is a Library Director - a member of the AALL and holds a J.D. along with her M.L.S. and she is tired after 32 years - the last 20 cutting collections because there is no money for acquisitions.

Book thieves (as opposed to those of us who have to renew a few books every now and again) are anathema to the very idea of a library.

I think that the theft of whole parts of a collection for political / religious reasons sounds the death knell for non-academic libraries.

Are we headed to "private libraries" for the elite (Linda Hall - a free-standing science library comes to mind) with closed stacks and limited public use (or, even access to the catalog!) and academic libraries with the Internet serving as the gap-filler?

The Internet is like a library. A library where all of the books are without covers and tossed into a big pile. There is no reference desk and circulation has no meaning and most of the work is fiction. Tech Services is interested in IP addresses not cataloging and there is nobody in charge.

Sue the book thieves - sue them twice and then roast their entrails.....

Too few of us actually read anymore. Not counting our professional libraries - my wife and I have >10,000 books in our home and another 1000 or so in the LA apartment and about fifteen hundred in our Iron County, MI "cabin" - mostly nature, maps, fly-fishing, history of the area and stained glass construction / patterns.

I doubt that there is any room in any place that we live that doesn't have books within easy reach.

I will admit to dumping newspapers - my 40 + year affair with the NYT ended with Judith Miller and the rest of the MSM looks like McPaper. I read Brit & Canadian news on the web (and, subscribe to the Anchorage Daily News!) along with Salon.... but I deeply regret the dumbing-down and pure mendacity of our once great newspapers. I miss a good paper with my morning coffee.

September 20, 2007 6:54 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Anonymous, you raise excellent points. I'd love to hear more about your spouse, who has expertise that I don't! :-)

I agree with your lament, too. When I went to Germany and told people that I was trying to be a writer, they would say, "What for? Americans don't read!"

I think a public library is based upon trust, and civic-mindedness, something we have largely lost.

September 20, 2007 8:55 AM  
Blogger Rev. Barking Nonsequitor said...

-and here it is in the late morning and my friend returns dissappointed from the local branch and says that it doesn't open until 12:30PM!

Why aren't these things open freaking 24 hours?

September 20, 2007 11:27 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

My very thought, Rev. Bark. :-(

String the book stealers up. Let the Universe sort them out.

What kind of classification system does the Universe use? ;-)

Me, I found myself thinking of this.

My, that reminds me of the time I saw Conan the Barbarian at the drive-in with my church youth group. Yes, I said church youth group. Doesn’t matter. Bunch of horny kids at a drive-in. And don’t get me started on those church youth conventions (bacchanals!).

Patron: “Sorry, these books are a little overdue.”
Conan: *slices patron in half with sword*

September 20, 2007 3:37 PM  
Anonymous AJ Milne said...

Conan: *slices patron in half with sword* / Cool!

... the Mother Goose and Grimm bit was also beautiful: just a simple one-panel, Conan behind the desk, looming and massive, two small patrons in the foreground looking alarmed.

A sorta dapper-in-a-scholarly way but really quite slight librarian I once knew (think Rupert Giles but much. much smaller and--allegedly--gay) taped it up to his desk, when he saw it. Was even funnier, in that context.

September 21, 2007 8:50 AM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

Please someone, take this person to Small Claims Court. She is an admitted thief.

I like what Robert Heinlein had to say about censorship:

"The whole principle is wrong; it's like demanding that grown men live on skimmed milk because the baby can't eat steak."

September 23, 2007 6:59 PM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

Oh yeah, Anonymous? You might want to contemplate sharing the joy of ownership for some of those books. You can't expect to re-read all 10,000, can you? Set them free where they can do some good. Unless of course, you keep them for the R factor.

September 23, 2007 7:04 PM  

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