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Law Student Breaking The Law

, | Learning | July 31, 2017

(We have roughly 40 libraries on campus, and all students can use the services at any of them. At our school’s libraries we lend out tablets for a two-day period, and laptops for six hours. The tablets may leave the library; the laptops are never allowed to leave. We keep your student ID as collateral until the laptop is returned. This library is across the street from the law school’s library, so we get a lot of law students borrowing the equipment, which is usually fine, until this Saturday…)

Law Student: “Can I borrow a tablet?”

Coworker: “I am sorry, we are out of tablets. You may have better luck at the other libraries on campus.”

Law Student: “Well, can I borrow a laptop? I want to take it to the law library.”

Coworker: “I am sorry, sir, but the laptops are not allowed to leave this library. You are free to use it here.”

Law Student: “Well, what if I just use it outside this library door? Can I do that?”

Coworker: “Well, no, they are not allowed to leave the library, period.”

Law Student: “Know what? Fine. I will borrow it and stay here.”

(My coworker goes over the policy with the law student, who has to sign to state he understands it must stay in the library and be back within six hours. Towards the end of the day, the coworker walks around the library, and realizes the student is nowhere to be seen. He is so upset with this patron that he leaves the library, walks across the street to the law library, and finds him.)

Coworker: “I need the laptop back now. I made it clear it wasn’t to leave, and now this is theft.”

Law Student: “What are you talking about? You said I could borrow it for two days! I was going to return it on Monday.”

Coworker: “That is not true and you know that. You signed an agreement that states you understand the laptop can’t leave, and it had to be back within six hours. I need it back now!”

Law Student: “Not until you return my student ID to me.”

Coworker: “Laptop first, then the ID.”

(This went on for a while, until the student finally handed the laptop over. He never did come back for his ID, but he emailed our supervisor insisting that they mail it across the street to the law school. My coworker got chastised for leaving the library unattended, but otherwise handled it better than I would have. We had never had this happen before!)

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