Thefts from Saïd Business School Library

Two Economics and Management finalists have suffered the theft of their revision notes in the space of a week in the Saïd Business School’s Sainsbury Library just weeks before their finals.

In an e-mail sent on 7th May to all undergraduate users of the library, Caroline Pearce, the Undergraduate Co-ordinator of the Business School, reported and condemned the first theft, and encouraged students to be vigilant.

But a few days later, last Thursday, another theft occurred “within an hour of the student being away from the papers,” according to an email sent by Bodleian Business Librarian Chris Flegg on 14th May.

In words directed at the perpetrator, Flegg said: “It is to be hoped that you will somewhere find the dignity and the ethical compass that you will need to lead a productive life marked by pride and self-esteem.”

Flegg has warned students that they should always beware of thefts in public places.

“While the library staff will try to do all it can to mitigate against this deplorable behaviour, the strongest action we can take in this regard is to remind people, and to keep reminding people, to take responsibility for their possessions and to realise that leaving things unattended always carries risks whether in a library, a train station, a cafe or anywhere that is open to the public,” Flegg said.

“In terms of ensuring that the impact of this type of unwelcome behaviour is minimised, there is value also in suggesting as “good practice” the retaining of back-up copies of all material that students regard as essential so that any losses – whether through theft or though other forms – can be dealt with without tragic consequences.” Mat Davies, the Head of Facilities at the Said Business School, said:

“There have been a couple of incidents in the past, for example with phones, but it’s not quite so bad as with revision notes as people have gone to the effort of making them.”

In terms of the preventative steps that the school will take, Davies said: “We are encouraging people to be vigilant and to use lockers. “We have got some CCTV in the area, but not in the Upper Reading Room, so we are considering extending it.”

Sunkalp Sharma, a finalist in Engineering with Economics and Management at Worcester and regular user of the Sainsbury Library, said of the incidents: “It definitely doesn’t put me off using the library; but since the thefts were obviously targeted at E&M finalists, if I was an E&M finalist, it would put me off.”