90 Miles From Tyranny : The most commonly stolen book at the San Francisco Public Library may surprise you

Friday, February 14, 2020

The most commonly stolen book at the San Francisco Public Library may surprise you

In liberal San Francisco, you might think sticky fingers at the public library would pull Barack Obama's "The Audacity of Hope" off the shelves.

Nope.

The books that mostly commonly go missing — and are assumed to be stolen — at the San Francisco Public Library are written by a conservative radio host who was among the first to endorse Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

"The one author our head of collections has to check regularly and purchase new copies of are books by Michael Savage," library spokesperson Kate Patterson wrote in an email. "We check once a year to see if all the copies are gone and reorder. We have moved to e-book for most of them, so we can ensure copies are around. The main title that disappears quickly is 'Liberalism Is A Mental Disorder.'"

Released in April 2005, 'Liberalism is a Mental Disorder' was on the New York Times best-seller list for three weeks and "attacks the insanities and inanities of extreme leftist thought."

The SF Public Library hasn't tracked exactly how many of this particular title or all of Savage's books have been lost, but "we have found that his political titles go missing more often," Patterson said. The cost of Savage's stolen books to the library is unknown as the system collects only general numbers on missing titles. The library's overall collection budget in the last fiscal year was $15.87 million and the cost of replacing items, including damaged copies of adult fiction and nonfiction, was approximately $79,350.

Among its 28 branches, the San Francisco library makes 2.75 million items on its shelves available for the public to check out. In general, the subject genres that most commonly go missing are "paranormal" and "conspiracy theories." San Francisco isn't alone in this. In Susan Orlean's new book "The Library Book," it's revealed titles by...

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