When librarians go bad and steal from special collections, it's a tragedy. When morons go bad and steal from special collections, it can definitely be a comedy.
Here's the beginning of the story:
"The defendants were college buddies (19-20 years old) who hatched a plan to steal rare books from the special collections library at Transylvania University (Lexington, KY) and sell them at auction in New York City. Their earliest musings began in January 2004, but the actual robbery did not occur until December 17, 2004. They were apprehended February 11, 2005, pleaded guilty on April 21, 2005, were sentenced to prison on ecember 15, 2005, and appealed December 23,2005."
It goes on to describe how they told Christie's they had a "first addition" of the Origin of Species, dressed up in ridiculous clothing to rob the library, and used a "stun pen" on the Special Collections Librarian, "which caused a tingling sensation and left a small bruise, but did not cause any significant pain or lasting harm." On their way out they left some rare items on a table, and dropped others as they were fleeing. It's like the Keystone Robbers.
The best part is the action of the library director at Transylvania University, Susan Brown. I'll let the text speak for itself:
The slightly stunned Special Collections Librarian "yelled to Susan Brown that they were being robbed, and Ms. Brown wheeled around to pursue the robbers. She caught up to them in a stairwell where they were attempting to open the emergency exit and, surprised by her arrival and aggressive confrontation, they dropped several objects — specifically, the two remaining volumes of the Birds of
Now that's how you protect your library collections. Why hasn't the ALA given Susan Brown an award for being the most ass-kicking librarian in the country? (Pardon the language, but it's obviously true.) Or has it, and I just didn't notice? Maybe the Annoyed Librarian Association will give her the award.
Enjoy the weekend.