Crimes & Criminals

Light Fingered Lincoln Librarian Gets the Ax

The head of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield has been fired after his second shoplifting arrest. Director Rick Beard had been on administrative leave since the arrest was made public last week.

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich fired Beard on Tuesday. A state spokesman says Beard was notified by phone. Beard was arrested in August and charged with stealing $40 worth of DVDs from a Springfield Target store. The 61-year-old has pleaded not guilty. Chicago Tribune.

This was the press release announcing Beard's appointment two years ago. President Lincoln's Bicentennial is coming up shortly; I wonder what Beard's firing will mean for the celebration.

Update...from the AP: Jan Grimes, director of the Historic Preservation Agency, will run the Lincoln museum and library temporarily. Robert Coomer, a former director of Historic Preservation, will replace Beard at the foundation.

Nearly 6,000 books go missing from libraries in 18 months

Harrow Observer - London,UK - Thousands of pounds' worth of books have gone missing from Harrow libraries in the past 18 months, many of which will need replacing.

Nearly 6,000 books in total have been listed as 'lost' since January last year from Harrow's 11 libraries, some of which cost as much as £40.

Reward offered for missing library statue

The Suffolk police Crime Stoppers agency is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for anyone who can help detectives track down those responsible for stealing a bronze memorial statue from the Commack Public Library.

Memorial Statue Stolen in Long Island

How's this for a sad story?

Shana Kay was passionate about reading. For that reason, her family decided to commemorate that love after her unexpected death in July 2005 with a bronze statue of a young girl on a bench reading a book. It was installed at her beloved local library.

But overnight Thursday, someone took the statue from the front entrance of Commack Public Library, 18 Commack Rd. It had been bolted and cemented into the ground and weighed as much as 300 pounds.

The suspicion is that it was stolen for scrap.

"It's unfathomable," said Jane Kay, Shana's mother, of Commack. "It's a sad commentary on humanity."

Thief steals 150 books from Fairfax Co. library

Daily Press - Newport News,VA - Authorities are searching for a thief who took about 150 books from a Fairfax County public library.

According to a police report, the suspect stole the books Sept. 9 from the Fairfax City Regional Library, which is part of the county system.

Library officials wouldn't say how the theft occurred. But police say a library manager said an unknown woman had been seen removing bar codes from books and placing them in a bag.

Rutherford B. Hayes Library Visited by Light-Fingered Trio

Some say that President Hayes stole the 1876 election from his Democratic opponent, Samuel Tilden, but now it's the Hayes Library that has suffered a loss. Two of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center Library's rarest books, with a total value of about $130,000, are missing.

While authorities have arrested three people believed connected to the disappearances, it's still not known where the books are. The books are the Maxwell Code and the Freeman Code, some of Ohio's first laws, dating back to the 1790's.

One of the thieves was previously arrested in 2007 in connection with the theft of $20,000 worth of antique maps from a bookstore in Harrisburg, IL. He also has a prior arrest record for felony theft and receiving stolen property. Toledo Blade reports.

MS Library Looking at Security Options After Teen Stashes Weapon There

Readers of the Desoto Times are being polled about the possible use of metal detectors in the library after a gun was found stashed behind the First Regional Library in Hernando Mississippi, a place described by the library's executive director as "a nice peaceful town'.

Catherine Nathan said she was reluctant to consider the installation of metal detectors, but would leave that decision up to the Board of Trustees. Said Nathan “We didn’t think the day would come when we would talk about guns and the library. I hired a security guard this past year and we have security cameras outside the library. Now it does pull us up short”.

Main Branch of Pittsburgh Carnegie Library Tagged by Vandals

Ugh. Next door to the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, where a show containing the work of a former graffiti artist is in progress, vandals spray painted lines from a poem by T. S. Eliot...incorrectly.

The Main Library will require exterior power washing, but the librarians themselves worked to get the spray paint off the steps.

Milwaukee Librarian Provided Alcohol To Minors?

Reports by investigative reporters are often not pretty. While there can be "gotcha" efforts, sometimes sunshine is provided in a dark situation. This is an odd one.

WTMJ in Milwaukee presented an online report following up on alleged actions by a librarian serving alcohol to minors near her home. The library director for the town of Walworth appears to have pleaded guilty and no contest to an array of charges. The person concerned, according to the report, has not lost her job even though she wound up with a $3,000 fine.

Things like this are not pretty but raise questions. What is the role of the public library in today's world? When unaccompanied minors come into a library, what is the duty of care owed? What might something like this do to a library's reputation especially when budget request time comes?

Read the story and think about it.

Stolen First Folio En Route To Its Rightful Owner

Police have recovered a stolen 400-year-old volume of Shakespeare after a man walked into the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC and asked to have it authenticated.

The First Folio edition of 1623 was stolen nearly a decade ago from a display case at the Durham University Library in England. The book is considered one of the most important in the English language.

Police say the man claimed to be an international businessman who had bought the book in Cuba. The Folger contacted the FBI and discovered that the Folio had been listed as stolen; the 'businessman' is currently being held for questioning.

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