“Check it out before you check it out!”

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“I’m currently trying to read a book for an essay and it is covered in pink highlighter.  It’s so off-putting!” (University of Southampton Student on University Library Facebook Page, January 2013)

85% of books in the library are now issued and returned by machines, not people, so defaced books are not picked up routinely. You have raised this with us and we need to get an idea of the extent of the problem, so we are asking for your help.

Please check the books before you take them out or when you are returning them for any highlighting, underlining or annotations. If you find evidence of any of this, please take the book to the loans desk. Library staff will record it and place a dated sticker near the barcode. You can still borrow the books.

If any books are considered to be heavily defaced, the relevant librarian will be informed and make a decision on a replacement copy but only after the student has returned it. We hope to mount a display after the 2 week campaign (7th – 19th May) showing you the extent of the problem and what it costs to replace defaced items. We are unsure of the quantity of books that may be reported. It might be 3 or 300. Let us know how much this matters to you by bringing these books to the loans desk.

If you have any comments please email us at libenqs@soton.ac.uk or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.

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