Q. I’m surprised there is no propaganda anywhere about the evils of writing in library books. I actually watched a fellow student mark up a library book with a highlighter pen, sitting in class just a few metres from the professor and in full view of other people who might want to read that book some day. Am I the only person who finds it unbelievably annoying to try to read through pages and pages of underlining, highlighting, and moronic annotations? There are lots of antisocial behaviours that in spite of their private nature are publicly censured. What about posters graphically depicting the terrible consequences of marking up library books that will only show up twenty years later, or the dangers of highlighter fumes for children yet unborn? It’s well-known that revealing your intellectual mediocrity by writing in the margins of library books makes you socially undesirable. Why don’t you publicize these things? I can’t believe librarians don’t study things like this in library school. Couldn’t you at least put up some posters or something? If it saved just one library book from these depradations, it would be worth it.
A. Thank-you for bringing this perennial issue to our attention and for your concern for library materials. We agree that damaging library material is a serious problem facing all libraries.
This is one of the many important issues we face in the library and we must choose which issues to publicize via posters, etc.
We do publicize this issue via the SFU Library Code of Conduct on the web site. There it specifically states:
“Appropriate behaviour in the Library means … refraining from marking or damaging any library resources.”
Acting AUL Collections & Scholarly Communication