One of my pet peeves as a librarian is theft.
It always gives me a teeth grinding pause to find an article ripped out of a magazine or a cover ripped off a book and jammed in the stacks higgledy piggledy. Hippie exhortations aside, it is neither progressive or cunning. Libraries are understaffed and underfunded. It's just obtuse. Like picking one's own pockets.
When the library suggested, two or three years ago, that it might circulate laptops, I thought about how easy it would be to steal them. I raised my hand and asked: "It's really easy to steal something that size from the library? Don't you think it's too expensive to circulate?"
I recieved a blank stare and an assurance that the library could afford the losses.
Although, at the time, they still couldn't afford raises.
Now it looks like this will come to pass, and it looks like people are giving my coworkers who ask the same questions the same blank stares. So, instead of stealing hundreds of dollars worth of books or DVDs at a pop, they'll be able to steal a two thousand dollar computer on one go.
I am a cynic by nature. Despite the fact that they officially can't leave the building, and the computers disable themselves, I think people will steal them. I think that the only thing that will prevent it is more staff. And that is an impossibility.
Here's hoping I'm wrong, because it's a good idea.