Monday, September 15, 2008

More on Hayes Theft Case

Travis has more details on the Hayes Library thefts I wrote about yesterday. I didn't think it could get worse ... but it does. Yikers. Read the whole thing.

He quotes my final paragraph on the subject, and says later "But back to Jeremy’s original paragraph. I almost never blame the library in these thefts, and neither does he. We both work in libraries and know how difficult they are to keep safe. But a rare book library’s main vulnerability should never be the front door. A thief should never follow the proper procedures and get away with the loot. If he sneaks in the back door or tazes the librarian or shinnies up a dumbwaiter shaft - that’s one thing. But a person who checks out a book from the staff should never then be able to steal the thing, particularly not when that person acts so suspiciously.

I’ve seen a lot of crimes. I’ve never seen a more clear cut example of buffoonish criminals being abetted by a dismally ill-prepared library staff."

I agree. It's really amazing. And sad. I hope the Hayes library gets their books back, but I also hope that they've learned a thing or two (or twelve) from this experience. I've worked in, oh, five rare book repositories now, and in every one of them basic security has been priority one. It has to be.