Tuesday, December 7, 1993

Factors Related to Mutilation and Theft of Library Materials in PAASCU-Accredited (Level III) Colleges and Universities in Metro Manila


Course: Master of Library Science

School: University of the Philippines

Subject Area: Academic Libraries, Collection-Security measures

Year of Graduation: 1993

Statement of the Problem

This paper systematically examines the library and academic factors, perceived by students, that possibly influence theft and mutilation of library books and other materials.


The 318 subjects of the study who were selected at random were enrolled in the accredited academic departments of eleven schools and universities in Metro Manila which are PAASCU accredited (Level III). They were requested to answer the structured questionnaire prepared for the purpose. Interviews were also conducted with some willing respondents. This research is essentially descriptive and analytic in approach. It made use, to some extent, of the principle of correlational research in identifying the library and academic factors that may be related to the acts of mutilation and theft of library materials. The Parten’s formula for size of respondents was utilized to determine the number of respondents from each school to be included in the study. The validation of the questionnaire was done with the use of the Kuder-Richardson equation for validity of instruments. The raw data obtained from the questionnaire were computerized and data processing was personally handled by an accredited statistician to ensure the correctness of the processed figures. The researcher however, personally encoded and tabulated the data manually for accuracy.


1. The library factors perceived to influence most of the incidence of library crimes of theft and mutilation are: library security, ease and availability of library materials, size of library collections and the aspect of photocopying machines.

2. The academic factors that could possibly cause library crimes of mutilation and theft, as perceived by students, are: frequency and bulk of assignments. Frequency of use of library, time constraints for submission of assignments and researches and rather strict teachers.


This study was able to test the existence of relationships between the library factors that could cause library crimes and the personal/economic variables. The students believe that certain preventive measures, stop-gap measures and long-term solutions can help minimize, to a negligible level, the incidence of library crimes. However, the perceived effectiveness of these measures and solutions vary significantly with respect to the students personal and economic characteristics.


The study recommends practically all the suggestions and recommendations cited as effective by students. In addition, the library authorities are encouraged to conduct periodic vigorous publicity campaigns that will inform and better orient students on the services they can avail of in the library and the proper use of the library. Likewise, the posting of a visible directory that indicates the “where” and “how” of library books and other materials is recommended. Warning signs and the list of penalties for library crimes should be posted in conspicuous places in and out of the library, with corresponding replacement costs of stolen or mutilated books and other materials. Teachers are requested to refrain from giving many assignments that need materials only found in the library. Moreover, a better time frame should be made on deadlines for the submission of such assignments. Furthermore, teachers are advised to orient and educate their students on the proper use of the library. The library authorities, with the support of the school administration, should be consistent and strict in implementing the policies and guidelines they had formulated.

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