Wednesday, June 1, 2011
The Rules of Circulation #07 (The RoC)
A patron came up and handed me a book saying that a while back he couldn't find this book. He ended up paying for it but he just found it and wanted to give it back. I told him that we wouldn't be able to give him a refund and he smirked and said that it was okay and that he wanted the library to add it back to its shelves.
I didn't fully comprehend the reason of his smugness until I took a better look at the book in the backroom and noticed the Hazmat like condition it was in. Seriously, you could play connect the dots with all of the individual colonies. All of the pages were warped with water damage and as you can see from the above picture, it turned into a petri dish. I quickly bagged it and took it to the dumpster.
Did this patron return this book knowing it was rife with hazardous spores ---- probably. Have patrons "donated" similar materials thinking the library/Friends would find good use for it, yes. Some have good (but clearly void of any common sense) intentions while others rest on the nefarious end of the spectrum.
I cannot stress how much the library DOESN'T NEED your lifelong collection of 'National Geographic' or 'TV Guide.' But it has such treasures, such as the first cover of "Alf" you say, thanks but no thanks. Save that stuff for neighborhood yard sales. The library's bookdrop is not your personal dumpster. If I ever find anyone using it as such, I will send Detective Bookman after you and you will pay the consequences, which will involve volunteering your time to rat on any patrons who find any loopholes with the internet filters.