The book thieves

Library staff speaks on the results of recent thefts.

Caroline+Sommers%2F+THE+CHIMES

Caroline Sommers/ THE CHIMES

Jessica Goddard, Writer

The library offers a peaceful environment for book lovers to delve into volumes upon volumes of written stories. One reading on a quiet afternoon would never guess the thefts that occurred there just last summer would constitute a felony offense. While most students relaxed this summer, the library staff worried over the vast amount of books being stolen right before their eyes.

feeling violated and concerned

Over the summer, two individuals stole over $2,000 worth of books from the library, leaving the library staff and student body feeling violated and concerned.

“It’s unfortunate that people are willing to do things like that,” said Cameron Osborn, the building and safety supervisor for the library. “It creates a lot of additional work and a lot of additional projects for many people here at campus safety, the library and the L.A. County Sheriff’s.”

The extra services staff did some investigative research and found out that two people had purchased community access cards and were using them in the library to check out books from the self-checkout station with the intention of selling the books. They had also stolen from a few other college libraries.

“We’ve never had that happen before,” said Gregg Geary, the dean of the library.

Knowing the severity of the robberies has also caused some concern for students on campus who consider libraries the centermost points in the academic world.

an opportunity to start over

“I think there should be a lot of respect in those kind of areas, especially libraries, where it is somewhere that everyone goes to heighten their education and learn. People should just respect the boundaries of that area and know that them stealing isn’t just affecting them, but it’s affecting everyone else who could possibly need the things that they’ve taken,” said Madison Niessan, freshman elementary education major.

Some students have expressed surprise that a robbery to this degree would occur on a Christian campus, and it has caused them to feel uneasy.

“It just makes me feel uncomfortable that someone would steal that, first of all. It does make me feel unsafe, especially how Biola is a Christian school,” said Michelle Steel, freshman environmental science major. “For a crime to occur in a center of learning just makes me uneasy.”

Another student, freshman kinesiology major Kindra Soto, recently had someone steal her backpack and ice skating gear from her car. She explained how these frustrating losses have given her discernment on how the Biola community could feel about these robberies.

“I can understand how Biola as a whole can feel violated, especially because books are such great tools for learning,” Soto said.

Despite these losses, Soto believes God has a better plan coming for the library, the students and the university.

“From my own experience, I’m learning that even though God may allow something to be taken away, it’s really an opportunity to start over,” Soto said. “I think even though [$2,000 worth] of books is a lot of information, God will definitely redeem what was lost and especially bless all of us as students to continue pressing on in our education, and I’m sure that so much more information will be able to bless us on our journey.”

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