Tag Archives: nefarious thievery

Please stop stealing our stuff.

Imagine that you’re going to the library. Perhaps you’ll visit the Film & Audio Department, home to thousands upon thousands of DVDs; shiny, round, and free. Listen to the beep of the circulation scanner as the clerks check out your DVDs. Take your selections home in your reusable library bag. Crack open the cases and admire the fingerprints left on the discs by other customers. Enjoy the confused whir of your DVD player as the library’s security strips cause that gently fingerprinted disc to spin just a little off balance. Aah, that’s the stuff.

But now let’s search for a particular DVD. Do you like the Simpsons? Are you itching to hear Apu sing “Who Needs The Kwik-E-Mart?” Wanna see Homer become an astronaut? Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could check out the whole season five box set at once? Admit it, that would be awesome.

But you can’t check it out, because someone stole it.

Really. They took the discs and left the empty case back in the stacks, where one of the shelving clerks found it this morning. Worst of all, this was a brand new set that just came in last week.

Alas, poor season five! I knew it, readers, a season of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.

Honestly, we know that people steal things and we plan for it as best we can. I’ve even made a game of it by collecting the covers of stolen DVDs and putting them in a binder – 157 since July 2007, and those are just the ones I’ve found.

We also make a point of replacing stolen items when we can afford it – because if someone likes it enough to steal it, it must be popular, right? And so many things are not stolen (like the thousands of items that pass through our doors every day) that we can deal with a swiped DVD now and then. But a brand new set, popular, slightly expensive, newly labeled and laminated? That’s just painful.

So please, please stop stealing our stuff.

– Amy

P.S. If you do have those Simpsons DVDs, you can just put them in an envelope and leave them in a book drop, no questions asked. And thank you.

P.P.S. If you’re wondering what we do when our items are stolen, lost, or damaged, be sure to check out our borrowing policies. If you have any questions, please come in and talk to us and we’ll try to work things out.


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Things that make librarians sad


Here are a few things that your favorite librarians may find depressing, in no particular order.

A view of the Lecture Hall from behind the building.

A view of the Lecture Hall from behind the building on an obnoxiously lovely fall day. I had to go to work shortly after taking this picture.

1. When you tell us how nice it is outside. Yes, we’d love to enjoy the day too, but someone has to be here to make sure you get all of those bestsellers and magazine articles, not to mention the ever-important headphones for the computers.
2. Books that are returned with sand trapped in their jackets. From a technical point of view, this is bad because the sand will damage the book’s cover. From a morale point of view, this is bad because the book got to go to the beach but we didn’t. This is especially depressing during the winter months.
3. The places that people leave things. One of my clerks once found a Naruto DVD in the second floor men’s toilet. Not just in the bathroom, mind you, but actually in the toilet. I think he should have earned hazardous duty pay for rescuing it (don’t worry, we threw out that one and ordered a replacement copy). 
No DVDs have been found in this particular toilet. But don't be getting any ideas.

No DVDs have been found in this particular toilet so far. Please don't get any ideas.

4. The things you use as scratch paper. I have a note from a customer written on the back of an opera ticket stub. No big deal, you say. But this particular ticket stub was entirely in Italian. Librarians don’t get to go to Italy very often, you know. Maybe if we presented it to the management as an outreach program?

5. Mysterious stains. More specifically, the coffee stain that we found on our new carpet the morning after it was installed. So from here on out, you’ll have to keep all of your Crazy Mocha treats down on the First Floor. We may lighten up a bit eventually, but that won’t be for another ten years or so.

6. When you say scary things on the phone. Today a customer told me that he was driving on (major highway) at (illegal speed) while talking to me, so he couldn’t get his library card out to tell me his number.  Please, call us later. The library has all sorts of nifty things to be sure, but it’s not worth risking your life.
That’s quite a list of downers, isn’t it? So how do you cheer up a depressed librarian? It’s really pretty simple: take care of your materials, return them on time, don’t put things in the toilet, and visit us often. We’d love to see you.
Or you could just take us to Italy….


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If you love your DVDs, set them free…

and if they come back to you, then you won’t have to buy replacement copies. Thus speaks a Film & Audio librarian.

One of my noble colleagues once told me, “If something is stolen, buy another copy. And if that copy is stolen, buy it again. When you finally have a copy that stays on your shelf, then you’ll know you’ve met the demand.”

I try to keep this thought in mind when I am purchasing my fifth set of Kill Bill DVDs (and we’re not even counting the stolen VHS copies, mind you). And I cheer myself up by compiling lists like this one:

Amy’s Super-Unscientific List of Most Stolen Movies on DVD!

  • Army of Darkness – Bruce Campbell and the undead are always a winning combination.
  • Barbershop – Ice Cube inherits his father’s business; wackiness ensues.
  • Carlito’s Way – Al Pacino tries to get a day job.
  • Fight Club – Brad Pitt and Edward Norton are very special snowflakes.
  • Friday – Ice Cube again, but now he’s in South Central.
  • Gladiator – Russell Crowe, togas, funny haircuts, the works.
  • Kill Bill Volume 1 and Kill Bill Volume 2 – Uma Thurman gets a cool sword and puts it to good use.
  • Scarface – Al Pacino again, but now he’s in Miami.
  • Se7en – Brad Pitt again, but now he’s a cop who hangs out with Morgan Freeman.

book jacket     book jacket     book jacket     book jacket     book jacket

Get them while they last, and please, for the love of kittens, return them!

– Amy, noble guardian/curator/exasperated purchaser of the DVD collection

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