Thursday, April 03, 2008

More on Brubaker Thefts

American Libraries has a report out on the Brubaker thefts, including new information about some of the books found in his possession and more comments by Rob Lopresti, the government information librarian at WWU who broke the case. LoPresti told AL "he feels frustrated by the lack of response from colleagues to his calls at a panel presentation at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference as well as on map specialists’ discussion lists that libraries missing materials share information with law enforcement."

"Among the items recovered from Brubaker’s property are approximately 250 rare books, including a copy of Paradise Lost and one of the 300 numbered copies of Lewis and Clark’s journals, Lopresti said, noting that the libraries where those items belong are easy enough to ascertain. 'But we’ve got 20,000 pages with no identifying marks,' he emphasized, adding that he has been urging the Great Falls police to hire a retired map librarian on a temporary basis to sort the recovered pages, 'because you actually need somebody who knows the stuff.'"

I share Lopresti's frustration - if libraries know they're missing items, they have an obligation and a duty to come forward.

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