Submitted by Iroh in axolotl

Just wanted your thoughts on this. Libraries are funded by the government, and it's very easy to steal hundreds of dollars of books. What would the moral implications of this be? And what libraries would be ethical to steal from?

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WeeBigTristan wrote

I would steal a book from a library if I wanted to, but I don't. They're free afterall so why steal them and prevent others from enjoying them?

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tuesday wrote

libraries are funded by the government but minus fees they kind of work the way a number of anarchists propose that non-personal items be kept, communally.

some of the really well funded libraries offer free maker spaces and recording studios and free public meeting spaces. the are the biggest community spaces available in the u.s. I don't know how they function in the rest of the world though.

but you should do what you want, obviously.

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existential1 wrote (edited )

In-general, I'd be against the idea but it is very conditional. Some folks have already given good examples. I grew up in a situation where without the library in my community, I'd legit be dead or incarcerated rn. The books therein gave me the knowledge that life was bigger than the community i was in.

I also had close folks in my life who needed access to gender expansive texts in the library and that's where they learned that they weren't alone. Taking that from those who have no other means of getting it is shitty. If you frequent libraries, as I do, you'd notice most patrons are poor...very many homeless. If u want to steal some books...in general...go to the capitalist bookstore.

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metocin wrote

That's kind of like stealing food from a soup kitchen. Also, why do that when you can download almost any book for free online? Go steal an e reader and start pirating.

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moonlune wrote (edited )

Depends on the book: stealing from libraries is kind of a dick move if you take a book that many people want to read. If it's a book that's rotting on the shelf it's ethically good. Bonus ethical points if you steal religious books and burn them.

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veuzi wrote

I've borrowed some books that I didn't return, as have probably a lot more people. It's not a super big deal in moral terms (lol), but I would much rather hit a bookstore if my intention was to steal from the get-go.

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GoodOldWorkingClass wrote (edited )

I have to ask: what exactly is there of value that you'd want to steal from libraries? Think about all the hands that have touched an item in a public place. If I'm going to take that item, it had better be the equivalent of a diamond.

That aside, morals are like fingerprints: everyone has a unique set of them. My view: if it's something in a library that has value to you (rare large print map or whatever), then go ahead and take it. You've more than paid for it with your income taxes. It's not like you're stealing survival money from some elderly pensioner.

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63f349fg wrote

imagine if people stole from the library of alexandria before that fuckr was left to rot. just some food for thought

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atusim wrote

stealing books is wothless..

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