At a recent staff meeting, we were putting to a vote whether or not to put our DVDs back into their cases. The vote had been 5-4 in favor of returning them to their cases. I, myself, was on the losing end of that vote. My reasoning behind this had been that within the last few weeks we had actually seen an increase of missing materials. I'm not sure how much of our local community actually reads our blog, but some must know the issues we have been having with our circulation scanner lately. While we should be getting a new system soon(ish), the current scanners tend to be slow and will sometimes pause for a few seconds between scans. This causes materials to be "scanned" but not checked out. Then when someone is looking for that material, it says it is in when in fact it was checked out. At the that point we either assume the former, or have to concede that the item has been stolen.
In the last few weeks, we have seen more DVDs go missing, and I have had about half a dozen graphic novels M.I.A. If you've read my blog posts before you'll know I take care of the graphic novels and stake a lot of their continuity on the collecting of series. With our comics going missing though, I have series with no beginnings or no ends. As I write this I am missing the two earlier trade paperbacks of Batwoman that I had in circulation.To me, this ruins 2 thirds of our story so far. And that is just what I am missing from one series, from just the adult section alone. I haven't even looked into the children's department yet.
So that is my reasoning behind my vote against DVDs going back into their cases. While this doesn't account for all our patrons, it accounts for a lack of respect for materials and other patrons that would want to check out these materials. At the moment I'm just waiting and hoping that Batwoman will show back up before I do any inventory on what is missing. I'm hoping to not have to write a plea bargain to whoever absconded with them as well. TPBs aren't cheap, and I would rather put that money to use expanding our collection, getting new series, and making sure we have readable copies of what might be getting worn out. The 30+ dollars I would have to spend just to replace those two Batwomans take a somewhat large bite out of my monthly budget, which disappoints me.
The takeaway from this should be that, as a librarian, I try to show respect to our patrons that respect our materials, premise, rules, and other patrons. Although, the handful of patrons that do not respect any of those belittles my faith in our patrons and being a librarian in the first place. That's a sad thing for me to write, seeing as I may have only been a librarian for four years, but I have been doing this since I was a High School senior. I want to continue to build our collection of graphic novels, until such a time as I can no longer fit any more. Then I will weed the least popular, rinse, and repeat. If I have to continually replace books that have only been on the shelf for maybe 4 months, this will never be accomplished. That is my goal on top of my other duties I carry on here. Please help me reach this goal. Respect our library materials, and in turn, our patrons and other librarians and libraries in general. We depend on you for our millage, and we're depending on you now to help protect your investments. Don't steal, especially when its already free.