Arts and Leisure
Stater Home Page
School of Communication
books cost library a bundle
By Wesam Elrabadi
While cleaning up her attic recently, Cleveland State alumna Ruthie
Alkawaja stumbled upon a book she borrowed from the universitys
library in 1988.
I ended up making my brother take it back, Alkawaja said.
She added I wouldve been too embarrassed to go back
to the library to return the book.
Like Alkawaja, many borrowers have either forgotten to return the materials
borrowed from the library or simply lost them.
In fiscal year 2001, about 1,661 titles were reported missing from the
library, which is 41 percent increase over the 1,182 missing titles in
2000, according to Head Communications Librarian Carol Zsulya.
The universitys fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.
Of the 1,661 missing books, 1,388 were among the items loaned out and
borrowed via OhioLINK.
CSU staff members and library patrons were responsible for the loss of
In fiscal year 2001, the library spent $13,100 for replacing lost materials.
This figure represented about 2 percent of the 2001 book budget, and the
money could have been used to order new books rather than replace the
Each time a faculty, staff member, student or a patron loses a book, a
form is filled out confirming the books disappearance.
For the next three months, a library staff member would search for the
item to make sure it had not been returned to the wrong department.
If unsuccessful in locating a book, the issue is referred to the librarian
in charge of the books subject matter.
The librarian would decide whether to buy a new copy or withdraw the title
from the librarys collection.
Whenever a business, economics or communication book is lost, about
99 percent of the time I just withdraw the title since theres usually
an updated edition or a better, more current resource, Zsulya said.
The librarys patrons, including the universitys staff and
students, have become more careful over the years.
In fiscal year 2003, only 795 titles were reported missing or lost, which
is a 35 percent decrease from the 1,228 items missing in 2002.
During the routine three month follow-up, 310 items were found, 485 titles
were reordered, while 271 were completely withdrawn.
Overall $7,858 was spent on replacements in 2003, according to Zsulya.
Top of Page