Pranksters Fill Library Elevator With Books; DVD Rental Privileges Temporarily Revoked

A prank in the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library resulted in the suspension of all DVD rental privileges for the weekend, as well as upset students and librarians. At around 6 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13, a student conducting research in the library discovered stacks of books covering the floor of the elevator. Sara Ciaburri, an Instructional Librarian on duty that night, said, “The student came up and asked me why there were all these books in the elevator. I didn’t have an answer.” “A group of kids probably thought this would be a funny joke, but they clearly didn’t think it through,” Ciaburri added. Dominic Dejesus ’10, one of the students who helped to clean up the misplaced books, said that it took three librarians 20 minutes just to remove all the books from the elevator. After shelving many of the books, Dejesus traced the prank back to the original location. “My theory is that a few people started with a couple of books while goofing around in the 900’s in the history section alcove, and then it developed, with more people bringing clusters of books into the elevator from the 800’s,” said DeJesus. Many students said that the prank was juvenile. Nick Anschuetz ’08 said, “[The prank] was kind of stupid, and it’s ridiculous that someone would find it funny.” Dejesus agreed, “I was upset about this prank, because in addition to it being not funny and very inconvenient, people actually use that elevator.” Alice Hoffman ’11 said, “Just because I’m the only handicapped person, I’m the only person who really uses the elevator regularly. I was worried the librarians might think I did it, but they didn’t say anything about it, so I was relieved.” Despite the apparent consensus over the prank, some students disagreed with the library’s response. Joey Mensah ’08 said, “I don’t think that the punishment was fair or made any sense. I know it’s hard to come up with a suitable punishment when you don’t know who did it, but DVD’s seem irrelevant to books. I thought the email was sufficient.” Rekha Auguste-Nelson ’09, who called the punishment “contradictory,” said, “The librarians understood that very few students were involved, yet they still punished the whole student body by taking away the DVD’s.” Dejesus supported the library’s response. “The librarians didn’t mean to punish everyone. They just wanted to put pressure on offenders, which was a good idea. It might have been much more effective if Mr. Marzluft had alluded in his email that the punishment was until further notice instead of just for the weekend,” he said. Dejesus continued, “The response was fine. I mean, our librarians are not criminal psychologists.” Marzluft wrote in an email to the community, “We understand that what happened does not reflect the thoughts and feelings 99 percent of the students have for the library and its staff.” “The prank wasn’t malicious. Well, I hope not, because that would be pretty lame,” said Marzluft. Marzluft added, “The great part is that through all this, librarians have received many emails and personal comments from students about how sorry they are, their embarrassment for their fellow students, and how they don’t feel as if this action reflects their own feelings towards the library.” Mensah said, “In general, this was a weak prank and students should know not to mess with the library.” The library elevator prank does not appear to have an impact on the senior class’s plan to pull off a good prank. “The senior prank generally doesn’t make a hard time for the workers. It’s just a fun time,” said Anschuetz.