Theft and Mutilation in an Academic Library: College of Medicine, University of Lagos experience
Theft and mutilation of medical information materials is a serious concern of the Librarians in Nigeria. Statistics had shown the seemingly excesses on the part of clientele and if the excesses is unchecked it may bring into extinction the existence of the medical library studied in particular and others in general. It is an open truth that medical journals and books are these days very prohibitive. Therefore, their preservation is a major concern of all and sundry now. This study aimed primarily to unravel theft and mutilation if any and how to curb and preserve the continuous use of these information materials in the library. The findings showed the enormity of books and journals that were stolen and pilfered, about 20.57% of the respondents admitted that they had stolen a book or journal form the library while 16.14% agreed to have ripped out pages from a book or articles from journals. In view of this abnormalities discovered in this research it is therefore suggested that necessary measures, such as provision of more photocopiers, electronic security system, and also application of sanctions/penalties for offenders. In conclusion, there is urgent need for the library administration to educate its users on the negative effect of theft and mutilation, and also create awareness of the problem in the college news bulletin with the warning that theft and mutilation is a punishable crime.
NQJHM Vol. 15 (2) 2005: pp. 83-86