Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Autographed books in libraries

I'd like to give you, my dear readers, some food for thought for the day.  Please weigh in with your thoughts and experiences on the subject.

I love getting books autographed by their authors, to place in my libraries.  I've never given it a second thought, until now.  Patrons are often thrilled to see the authors' scrawl on the title page.  It doesn't matter the age of the reader.  Young and old alike are excited to see that the writer took the time to put their John Hancock on the pages of this particular book, often with a note specific to the patrons of whichever library it's at.

Now, as you may know, I'm going to Dragon Con in less than two weeks.  (Squee!)  One of the authors who will be there is Jim Butcher, author of the Dresden Files series.  I want to get his autograph, of course, but I also interlibrary loaned Storm Front, the first in the series, so I know a bit and don't have to be a total doofus when I get to meet him.  After receiving the book, I emailed its home library's director to get permission to have it autographed.  The reply surprised me.

"I am afraid it would get stolen. Sad world we live in."

That's something I've never considered.  Yes, library books get stolen all the time, or they simply don't get returned.  Does having the author's signature in it make it more susceptible to theft?

After a quick check of my records from the school library, my experience tells me "no."  There are currently three books signed by an author that have not been returned.  Out of probably 40-50 autographed copies.  Not bad.  Probably about on par with the rest of the collection.

How about at your library?

1 comment:

  1. I always worry about autographed books getting stolen. But, we have several in the high school library where I work, and I don't know that they are any more likely to get stolen than others.
    On a side note, my cousin's boyfriend is really good friends with Jim Butcher, I need to read one of his books soon!