The Land of Lost Books: Nearly $24K Worth of Books are Missing from the Ukiah High Library 


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With COVID-19 and the influx of students leaving Ukiah High School for independent study, Ukiah High School’s Library is missing a dramatic amount of books valued at an estimate $23,8000 and has been trying its best to get them back. 

UHS News spoke to Kate McCarthy, one of the librarians at Ukiah High, about this drain on the library’s resources and the library does not have enough funds to buy replacements for all of these books.

According to McCarthy, there are 1,100 books either lost or overdue at the library. Most of them are currently overdue. Most of the books missing are popular ones such as graphic novels which means the most desired cannot be provided to interested students.

Pleading with the students of Ukiah High School, McCarthy said “If you don’t bring the book back, we don’t have it, and it’s not fair to the other students who want to read it.”

A sign on the Ukiah High Library [Picture by Matt LaFever]

McCarthy noted that “People are afraid of bringing books back and afraid they will be yelled at.” She assured me, “there’s no fine till you lose a book or you never bring it back, or it’s so damaged it’s not able to be used.” 

The policy at the UHS Library is that you can check out three books at a time and have them out for 30 days to read them. McCarthy clarified that “there will be no policy changes. We will continue to send out late book policy notes. We want people to read books and finish them and bring them back.”

For any student timid to bring in late books, McCarthy said there is a slot by the librarian’s main desk they can drop them off anonymously. “it’s easy just turn it in in the slot”, she said. For students that fear they will get into some sort of trouble, McCarthy would like to make it clear that, “We are not mad.”

The computer database at UHS has kept all of the lost and overdue books since it was installed. The overwhelming number of missing books has required the librarians to override this system and allowing students to check out new books even if they have books check out. 

A display of the list of missing books outside the library [Picture by Matt LaFever]

The library staff has spoken to almost all students at UHS with late or missing books and urges them to return them. “If they can bring it back can remove it from the system“

The number one message McCarthy would like to announce to the students of Ukiah High School is to bring your books back. “When you don’t bring it back we don’t have it, it doesn’t matter if it’s on time or not just bring it back.” 

Izzy Nickerson
Izzy Nickerson
Izabella Nickerson is an editor and chief for the UHS newspaper and a Junior at Ukiah High School. Izabella enjoys playing sports like tennis and volleyball, baking/cooking, and being outdoors. Izabella is creative and hardworking doing her part to make the UHS newspaper informative and entertaining. Izabella has been a part of the UHS news team for 3 years. She enjoys writing about the sports that students participate in at Ukiah High School as well as articles addressing women's rights and more. She would like to continue Journalism and make a career out of it. Becoming a sports journalist or a sports broadcaster.

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