An Ivy League sense of entitlement: the human cost

Written by

Those of you who have made a cottage industry out of lifting books from Butler Library probably never considered that you were condemning some poor librarian to weeks of tedious inventory work. Well book thieves, in today’s “Why Are You Here?” meet the victim of your transgressions:  John, entombed in the lower levels of the Butler stacks, counting up what’s gone missing.

Why are you here?

I work here. I replace missing and stolen books.

Are there a lot of those?

Oh yeah.

Does this shatter your faith in the basic goodness of Columbia students?

No. I’ve been a student before too.

Are there some books or areas of study that get more burglarized than others?

Oh sure. All of that French lit crit, sci fi writers like Philip Dick and HP Lovecraft, all the beat stuff…and I think they should just buy a new copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude and The Blood Wedding every quarter, ‘cuz they always go missing.

It’s mad nice out right now, and we’re in a windowless subterranean chamber. Bothered?

No, and sometimes when it’s really hot in the summer it’s a relief to come to work.

 Scintillating! More self-justification to come!


Tags: , ,


  1. hold on

    They bring some of this on themselves. While looking for a book for a seminar paper I couldn't find the one in the butler stacks and I tried to alert the librarians at the circulation desk that the book was missing so they could update CLIO- you know, so that other students wouldnt come looking for the same missing book? No such luck. I was told to fill outa book request form. I didn't want the book, since there were copies at Barnard, I just wanted the system updated to help. But nooooo, the only way they could list the book as missing was if I filled out a request form, and then the book doesn't show up. Uh, great, thanks... I was just trying to be helpful...

  2. Thrill Killer

    Dudez, the BWOG is like totally messed up. I thought you'd blcoked me or something,

    The center column is in the middle of the page and overlapping the text boxes.

    I'm using a PC, explorer 6.029

  3. hah

    macs rule pcs drule.

  4. help

    the left hand menu has migrated to the middle of the page! I can't read a thing!

  5. read

    the rss feed. its clean.

  6. I often hate Butler

    Has anyone else had to pay $50+ for a book that they *didn't* lose? I checked out a puny, 65-page paperback filled with Walt Whitman's poems last year and promptly returned it with the rest of my research books. But Butler thinks that I lost it, even though when I returned my books, I double-checked that I had all the books I had checked out. The book probably cost $12 for the library to buy, and for the love of god, I RETURNED IT! The system is screwy.

  7. there is

    an article on the front of the times' webpage about columbia being fined 1.1 mil by cuomo for being a shitty corporation in the financial aid dept.



  9. RANT

    so this is the guy I have to freaking track down. Last year I borrowed a copy of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch, returned it the next day, and was told I never did. I've been slapped with an $82.50 replacement fee for a 100-page book I didn't lose and no matter what I do, they seem to be waiting for me to graduate before doing something about my request to get it cleared. *breathes heavily*

  10. me too

    I borrowed a 15 dollar book and rreturned it. now i owe 82.50.

  11. same here

    borrowed a book from the circulation desk to check out the footnotes/work cited of a few pages from a coursepack. returned the book maybe 5 minutes later. Two days later I "owe" 62.50

© 2006-2015 Blue and White Publishing Inc.