Theft is an unavoidable part of being a librarian. I’m amazed at the amount of material that I never see again after it hits the reading room floor. But theft also has its good points – popular items get stolen more (yes, this is an obvious statement). Consequently, I know what I need to buy more of during the next month’s ordering process. This kind of loss is one of the better ways to judge trends in the community. At times, when I’m buying books, I feel like Sisyphus, rolling that boulder up the hill another day. But at least I know that I’m on the right track with my collection development by purchasing such desirable items.
Theft of Naruto has reached epic heights. The Young Adult librarian recently received an additional $2,000 as a prize for winning a competition. She had an amazing shopping spree at Borders, filling out all of the gaps in the Naruto collection. Within a few weeks, the Naruto books in the library were down to 6, despite the catalog showing over 35 books on the shelf.
Troubles for our YA librarian doesn’t end at manga. She also buys skateboarding books, many of which grow legs and walk (skate?) out of the library on a regular basis. This particular volume has been missing since December of 2008. We have a huge skateboarding population; we desperately need more skating books, not to mention a proper skate park. Hopefully a park would also cut down on the number of patrons run over by the droves of kids practicing their tricks outside the entrance.
Evidently it’s tough to read the future with only a three week loan period. This was the most recent addition to the tarot collection, but it’s been missing since March of 2008. Unfortunate, especially because I get asked for tarot books on a regular basis.
People still love Tupac Shakur. He may have died over ten years ago, but he still captures the imagination of this community. We’ve “lost” countless hardcover versions of this book. Even last week, a messenger clerk found a torn cover from a paperback copy stuffed in between cookbooks.
Popular movies have high shrinkage figures, unsurprisingly. Around here, Tyler Perry, Wall-E, and big-budget action movies are the most popular. One of our clerks mentioned Batman Begins as a particularly notable case. It was put out on the shelf, and within the hour, it was gone. I guess Christian Bale has some rabid fans in South Los Angeles!