Stealing books

I was reading the other day about the amount of library books which had gone missing or stolen from Welsh libraries
I think that stealing books from a library, where they are free in the
first place, is just not on.  What are people doing with these books? 
Is there a black market for library books?  IS there a series of under
ground libraries, secret places where those who have been turned down
by "official" library services go to get their "book fix"?  Or should I just get off my high horse and appreciate that only things that have a value get stolen, and books do have a great worth?

3 comments to this post

  •  :  I am terribly sorry to say that I have had three books on loan from my local library since July. I fully intended to return them but I can only get to the library on Saturdays and I keep forgetting. I don't mind paying the fines (they're entirely justified) but now I've had them so long I'm embarrassed to take them back. Not to play down my guilt, but I haven't received a single reminder notice from the library in that time so I would agree with Chris Franks in the article cited above when he says that "local authorities urgently need to look at their systems". I'm willing, if forgetful! Off to set a reminder...
  •  :  From past experience some local authorities take the stance that it is the borrowers responsibility to manage their borrowed books. It costs money to remind people to return their items and the books are stamped, so surely that is reminder enough. The individual should take responsibilty. But is this the right way to handle the returning of borrowed items? Should libraries be more pro-active in getting those items back in on time?
  •  :  I can see that point of view. It is the user's responsibility to manage their borrowing but a stamp in a book is only a reminder if you remember to look at the book. You might argue though that the library's need to have the books back is greater than my need to return them so the onus is on them to be proactive.

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