Mutiliation of library materials
Mutilation of Library Materials
Library materials are subject to a range of mutilation. Some people just like to write notes in books they've borrowed, use a highlighting pen, or annotate a text to help them work through a performance. Some people mutilate books to convey a personal message of political, religious, or social belief. Some people slash up books because they can't be bothered to use the photocopier. Some people do it because they want to be the only one in their class who was able to read that chapter before the final exam. Sound selfish?
- A neo-Nazi scrawls hate-filled slogans in materials about the Holocaust
- Abortion rights advocates deface a pro-life apology
- A student razors out required reading from reserve materials, just before the exam
- An actor marks up a borrowed script to enhance his performance
- Someone censors the microfilm version of Playboy by cutting out pictures
The University of Oregon Library replaces over a thousand pages each month, many of them deliberately damaged. That's a lot of photocopying, a lot of glue, a lot of staff time to identify the damaged books, locate and borrow replacements from other institutions, and insert into the original volume.
You may not think it's worth it, until you find the information you want is gone.
What can you do?
- Use the photocopiers!
- Take notes on paper, not in the margins.
- Put away your highlighter when using borrowed books.
- Find other places to express your opinions, and recognize that they may not be shared by or welcome to other library users.
- If you find defaced materials, please bring them to the nearest library service desk. We will do our best to repair the damage or replace the book.
- When you see people damaging library materials, remember it's YOUR money they're wasting. Take time to educate them about the consequences.
Protect your investment; protect your library's materials!