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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Recent vandalism locks Linton Library drop box

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Due to an act of vandalism, the Linton Public Library's drop box will now be locked during the library's closed hours.

Shelley Williams, library director, shared details on the change and why it is necessary.

The vandalism occurred the night of Friday, Sept. 10 or early morning Saturday, Sept. 11 when someone shoved a dead cat into the book drop slot, she explained.

"Then, when staff opened the box, they were faced with having to call the police to have the poor animal removed," Williams said, noting it was apparent the cat had been dead before being crammed into the box.

The incident was very upsetting to members of the library staff as they had to take time away from their daily duties to tend to the mess.

"Library staff (members) were visibly upset about this find and had to spend much precious time cleaning up the books that were in the cart as well as the cart itself," Williams said. "Since the (cat's) body was crawling with fleas, each individual book had to be shaken to get rid of fleas and cleaned while outside and then cleaned again once they were brought inside. Then the drop box had to be sprayed for fleas and for the odor which collected in the cart mat."

Although this time the damage was minimal, it could have been much worse, she noted.

"Due to being on the Evergreen system, we now circulate many books that do not belong to our library. Any that might be damaged would have to be paid for either by the library or by the person who borrowed the book," Williams added. "Therefore, for the time being and until further notice, the slot for the box is locked when the library is closed."

Now the box is checked in the morning and again before closing for any items placed in it during the day and those items are back dated to keep overdue fines to a minimum.

"The weekends will be the worst as the box is locked from 3 p.m. Saturday until Monday morning pickup," she said, adding a sign is placed on the box stating when it is locked.

"The library sincerely apologizes for this great inconvenience to its patrons, but this measure has to be taken to protect not only the property of the books but also staff members who may encounter something worse than a dead animal," Williams explained.

If anyone remembers seeing someone around the drop box during the time in question, they are encouraged to contact the Linton Police Department by calling 847-4411.

The Linton Public Library thanks its patrons for their understanding and patience in this matter, Williams added.

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It's unfortunate that people cannot respect public property. It only makes it hard for the people that actually use the library's drop box. Maybe if the vandals got a library card and took advantage of reading books, they'd have less spare time to do such things.

-- Posted by SGA on Tue, Sep 28, 2010, at 3:52 PM

Seems to me that if such a big deal had not been made of this, then we might have gone months.....maybe years without seeing another dead cat stuffed in the dropbox. But now I can not stop thinking of ways of stuffing a live raccoon in there during business hours...

-- Posted by Figaro on Tue, Sep 28, 2010, at 4:22 PM

That is by far the worst idea ever. Isn't the drop box supposed to be for people who can't get there during regular hours?

-- Posted by per moenia urbis on Tue, Sep 28, 2010, at 4:31 PM

It is a poor system that punishs everybody for the illegal acts of one vandal. You don't close down the Catholic Church because of one pedophile priest. And, you don't close the bank because one thief robbed the bank. Find the SOB and punish him/her - not the entire community.

-- Posted by Globe&Anchor on Tue, Sep 28, 2010, at 5:52 PM

why not place a camera on the box,,,but lets not tell everyone

-- Posted by lvgrnco on Tue, Sep 28, 2010, at 6:54 PM

With all of the businesses near the library (one being a bank) aren't there security cameras that could have taken pictures of the culprit(s)?

Was this not an act that would warrant the library being able to get grants/funding for security cameras and other equipment from Homeland Security? I think this would qualify under the definition of being terrorized by some sicko. I'm not joking...there is likely an opportunity here to make lemonade.

-- Posted by Greenee on Wed, Sep 29, 2010, at 1:31 AM

If any of you were the ones who had to pull out a dead cats body, then I doubt you'd be complaining about them closing the drop box. I imagine the fleas weren't the worst of what was on that cat.

Its a drop box for goodness sake! They're not closing down the library! Geez, if you can make it in to check out a book, then you can surely find a way to make it in there to bring it back.

-- Posted by VeraKlopek on Wed, Sep 29, 2010, at 9:11 AM

That is absolutely disgusting. I feel very sorry for the person who found the cat. That is very sad. It also makes me wonder did the person who put the cat in the drop box actually kill it first or just find it dead and decide to shove it in there. It also makes me wonder if it were just a sick "joke" or if someone is threatening an employee at the library. I hope not!

-- Posted by mmmmsmom on Wed, Sep 29, 2010, at 11:06 AM

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