Springfield Librarian Steals from the Poor and Gives to the Rich
By Anonymous in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 12, 2005 7:26PM
Chicagoist has always thought of library work as a noble calling--you gotta do it for the pure love of it, not the money. That is, until we learned about one Springfield librarian who has been raking in the dough (not to mention her own personal library) by skimming off donated materials. Lori Burger allegedly pilfered a couple thousand books, CDs, and videos from a public library in Springfield, selling about half on Ebay for a $10,000 profit and keeping the rest for herself.
Talk about sha to the d-y. While we've come to expect this sort of behavior from the money- and power-hungry CEOs and CFOs and COOs and senators and mayors of the world, we've always imagined a librarian's scandalous nature to be limited to the occasional indulgence in a Harlequin or US Weekly. And while we can see a certain logic in slipping a few pennies in your pocket every day after some hard workin' at the big corporation, we wonder how Burger justified stealing books from the library to herself. Libraries generally aren't rolling in it, after all.
She must have been a mighty saleswoman, though. According to this Tribune article, "the books Burger is accused of stealing...were valued at more than $300." And she made $10,000 selling them on Ebay? Perhaps she's only charged with stealing a fraction of the books she actually took? And while we can't say we're particularly impressed by the "irony" of her stealing a John Grisham novel (surely the library was swimming in those), we hope she at least got herself a copy of Abbie Hoffman's classic Steal This Book.