I've been getting notes for a couple months now that I owed a fine to the library for a book I didn't return. I've searched my office and house up and down, and I can't find it, so I paid up. I usually don't lose library (or other) books.
I have a habit of loaning books to students in classes to help them with their research papers. And I have a feeling that I loaned this one to a student and because it's not mine, didn't think to have the student fill out a little index card to stick in the shelf as a placeholder. (Not that doing the index card thing guarantees I'll actually get books back, alas.)
I loaned a grad student a library book once, and then asked to use it in the class, where I discovered, to my horror, that someone had written in INK in the book! I was so horrified that I ranted about it in class, much to the apparent embarrassment of the student who'd done the writing (which I hadn't realized at first in my utter horror). Who takes a library book and writes in it in ink? (Or borrows a book and writes in it period?) (I write in my own books, but not library books.) (The book was brand new, too, as I'd just had the library buy it as a resource for the class.)
I keep telling myself that I'm not going to loan out books anymore, and then I stupidly do. I tend to have lots of useful books in my office, including ones our library doesn't have. Most students are great and return my books in good condition. But sometimes they don't, and I have to track them down, or they never respond to my emails or messages.
It's not like students are unique: I've loaned out at least four copies of Pavic's Dictionary of the Khazars, and I've finally quit buying myself new copies. But dang, that's an amazing book!
So, what's the verdict: loan or not?