Map Dealer Charged With Cutting Maps From Library Books
There really isn't much more we can say about this case. It just reaffirms what we already knew, or perhaps reemphasizes it because the alleged losses are so large. The era of trust in libraries is over. Not even the apparently trustworthy can be trusted. The practice of slicing pages from books compounds the problem. While sneaking an entire book out of a library may trickier to accomplish, removing a single page is far less noticeable. What's more, since the book itself is returned to the shelves, it may be years before anyone even realizes that something is missing. More cameras, eyes, and personal searches will have to be trained on people who conduct research in rare book libraries. People may have to be treated like they were thieves, even though most are honest, legitimate scholars. Librarians will have to become guards and detectives as much as bibliophiles. And, more of the material in books will have to be placed on websites and in databases, where the contents can be reviewed virtually. We may not like being searched and examined in libraries anymore than we like being so subject in airports. But, what choice do we have?