We have an ongoing list of missing books. That sounds terrible, but it is the nature of libraries, I’m afraid. Books become lost sometimes simply because someone misfiles them, or they might only be absent for covering purposes, but haven’t been marked out correctly in the system. Occasionally, books disappear off the shelves because someone has chosen not to sign them out, but that isn’t the norm. For the most part, we do quite well keeping track of items considering how many books, DVDs, magazines and other items go through our doors each day.
Recently, on the top of my list was a standing order to get Robert Munsch books back into the collection, as many of ours have gone missing. So, when I came across this article published recently in the Toronto Star regarding the 100,000 books missing from the Toronto Public Library system, I was surprised. The most common missing books in their collection? Robert Munsch. It seems we all have a Munsch-Monster!
And it isn’t only Robert Munsch tales that go missing. The Top 10 list for TPL includes Dr. Seuss, Jeff Kinney (Wimpy Kid), and Geronimo Stilton. Is it that kids have particularly sticky fingers (ha ha)? I don’t think so. More likely, it’s difficult for parents to keep track of all of the books their kids want to take out. Have you ever seen a child walking around the library carrying a book, or looking at it while Mom is checking everything else out at the desk? Most times, it’s a simple oversight, and when parents go online to check to see what books they have out, those books don’t show up on their lists. Voila. Missing book.
Munsch has his own response:
“I am happy to see that thieves like my books and will continue to try to serve the needs of the reading underworld,” said Munsch, taking the news rather well.
For my part, I’m ordering new copies soon!