Thursday, March 25, 2004

A desperate-looking guy came into the library today, looking for a particular book. When I looked up that title, I found that 2 of the 3 copies were out, and the other was being held for someone.

Desperate Guy asked whether it would be possible for him to take that copy for ten, very short, minutes, so that he could photocopy some of it. He needed it for an exam on Monday.

'Sorry', I told him, 'we can't let you take that book out of the library because we can't check it out to you. That book is being held for someone else. But since you're so desperate, I'll let you photocopy some of it here on the library photocopier at 20c per copy'. But no, he wanted to take it to a shop where it would cost only 10c per copy.

'Well, exactly much photocopying are you planning to do?', I asked.

'The whole book', he replied.

'Do you realise that would be breaking copyright laws?'

'Yes, I know the law. I work for [a Government department which I won't name]. Please - I need it for the Police entrance exam. It's on Monday'.


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