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One of the best things about our jobs is that you never know what each day will 
bring. A few days ago, two 8th-grade boys came into the LMC. One of them had a book 
about NASCAR (auto racing) he had checked out from our library. The other boy, his 
friend, pointed to the boy with the book and said, "Mr. Bilmes, he has my 
grandfather's book. I have to give it back to him." A little confused, I asked him 
to repeat what he had just said. According to this student, he had borrowed the 
NASCAR book from his grandfather and had left it somewhere in school one day. 
Somehow, we had processed it and put it in our collection, and he had noticed that 
his friend had checked it out. He then opened the front cover of the book and 
showed me where his grandfather's name was neatly printed (twice on facing pages!). 
"My grandfather's been looking for this. I have to give it back to him," he said.
 Now, a cynical person might wonder if these kids were trying to pull a con game on 
the gullible librarian just to get this book. But I discounted that for two 
reasons: 1) I know the boy who claimed the book was his grandfather's fairly well, 
and he's not that type of person; 2) I could tell by the hand-written spine label 
that his book was processed by either myself or my aide, not a book we had 
purchased from a vendor. And to be honest, I had no recollection of how that book 
had come into our collection. We just listed it as a "donation."
 I asked the student if his grandfather would mine that the book now had our 
barcode on the back cover, as well as a date due slip and our school name stamped 
inside. He said he didn't think so. I checked in the book, deleted it from our 
collection, and gave it to him to bring home to return to his grandfather.
 I couldn't have made up a situation like this if I had tried!

David Bilmes, LMS
Schaghticoke Middle School
New Milford, CT

“When I read about the way in which library funds are being cut and cut, I can only 
think that American society has found one more way to destroy itself."

Isaac Asimov

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