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Re: Librarian responds RE: Bad things/good books

The only thing that you have correct here is your reference
to Pogo.   Mia Culpa!

The rest of this is a mix of woes attempting to justify bad
Sorry, but I do not buy this. It does not offer a solution
to slovenly readers.
It does not seem to deter theft & defacement by the public.
So why do it?
The library paste-on for the card on the rear end paper
should besufficient to identify the book, and even that
should be done with easy to remove flour paste.
Nothing wrong with security strips in the spines either.

With this kind of thinking, I can see that librarians are
just itching to get their hands on some nice original art
works from a future  Rembrandt or Leonardo so that they
can put ink stamps on the stuff, or cut a hole in the
canvass or such.

I have some 40,000 volumes in my private book
collection, after 50 years of collecting. I will never
give it over to some  public library to mindlessly deface.
If I do not decide to sell the collection at auction,
or give it to a private library, I would rather burn them.

-----Original Message-----
From: M. B. McCarthy <marymc@LYNX.SNI.NET>
Date: Thursday, March 16, 2000 18:20 PM
Subject: Librarian responds RE: Bad things/good books

>As a librarian, archivist, digital archivist, book artist,
and general book
>lover, I have to respond to this.
>Yes, we as librarians stamp and tape and security strip and
cover and do
>just about anything we can to library items, including
books, as a way of
>keeping them part of the collection.  There may be better
ways of keeping
>valuable books safe, but most libraries can't afford
them -- and I can't
>think of any off hand.  Most libraries have trouble
affording the books
>their clients want, much less multiple copies or fancy
electronic security
>systems (much less a security guard or two).
>Just think about it: First edition Stephen King's are worth
more than an
>item printed by Aldus M.  Neither one of these items
started out being
>worth megabucks, but over time, they've become scarce and
therefore more
>valuable.  If you leave a King book unstickered and
stamped, just sitting
>on the library shelf, you're going to be one book short
pretty soon when
>that book walks itself down to the local rare book dealer.
>When a librarian purchases a King book for the collection,
s/he isn't
>purchasing the future valuable first edition.  S/he is
purchasing a popular
>novel that will be read by the general public (in their
house, on the bus,
>in the tub, while drinking coffee & eating sticky cinnamon
rolls, etc.).
>This item will be READ, it will be USED, it's spine will be
broken on the
>copier machine, it will be rebound in really ugly bookcloth
when it falls
>apart. If the librarian doesn't put all of the security
stuff on the book,
>they risk books getting lost or stolen.
>Yes, many books are stolen from libraries every day, and
for every book
>that is stolen, there are more people wanting to read that
book. The pages
>you want are ripped out of the encyclopedia by someone who
didn't want to
>use the copier, and most libraries can't afford to purchase
>reference books (have you seen those prices?).   For every
book we don't
>stamp and security strip and tape, you the tax-paying
citizen lose out.
>The book budget is set, we don't have any more money, so we
can't purchase
>another copy of the book.
>I think we have to think about the different uses of books,
which books are
>meant as works of art, which have historical significance
(and try judging
>that the day you send your book order in to the book
jobber!), and which
>are meant to be read, worn down, and eventually meant to
fall apart and be
>sold for $0.25 at the library book sale. Some are somewhat
>others most definitely are not -- but rarely can this be
known the day you
>purchase the book. Decades down the line, maybe, but not
the day you have
>45 folks in line for the new Grisham.
>I think this varies greatly with the type of library as
well.   Academic
>libraries probably end up purchasing or being gifted with
items that will
>be more valuable (except for the first editions of popular
>writers).  These items will be treated differently than
popular materials
>at the local public library, but they are still in danger
of being taken or
>defaced by anyone.
>When a private collector donates their collection to an
archive, the
>archive has to figure out a way to keep that material from
being 'taken'
>for someone else's collection. When you visit an archive,
they take away
>your belongings, hand you a pencil and yellow paper, and
watch your every
>move -- that is part of the archivist's job unfortunately.
Which is worse:
>to deface the book with stamps and tape, or to leave the
book pristine and
>tempting for the sticky-fingered collector who thinks
library=free bookshop.
>From the spate of recent thefts we've seen on this list,
valuable books
>aren't safe from anyone who wants to take them, cut them
apart, sell them
>page by page, or read them while drinking coffee in the tub
(although, I
>tend to drink soda, not coffee while reading in the tub).
They're not even
>safe from us -- printers, book artists, archivists, or
librarians -- all of
>whom have been ones responsible for recent thefts or
defacement plans.
>Please, don't curse all librarians for defacement.  What
we're doing is our
>best to make sure that everyone has equal access to the
materials. That's
>our job -- to uphold Freedom of Speech in the form of
Freedom to Read --
>regardless of how much you make or what language you read.
In order to
>make sure the materials are still around when YOU come in
to read them, we
>have to take precautions.  Because of funding (and lack
thereof), we have
>to use the cheapest, easiest ways of keeping materials safe
>collectors.  Even then, we're often thwarted, but we have
to try.
>And, being a librarian, I have to type: I believe Pogo, not
Snoopy, warned
>us against ourselves as the enemy.
>Mary McCarthy
>ACLIN Support Librarian
>Colorado State Library/BCR
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