Monday, July 24, 2006

 

The Parable of a Friendly Student

Raymond, a fourth year college student, has always been coming to the library not only to read and borrow books but also to meet friends. He would often ask me reference questions on fisheries, and since I am a fisheries graduate myself, I can easily give him the materials he needs. If I could not find one, I would refer him to the SEAFDEC-AQD Library in Tigbauan, Iloilo. This library has a vast collection of materials on fisheries. And the chief librarian of this fisheries institution is an old friend of mine, so I find no difficulty in asking her help.
Since Raymond has been familiar to me, he has become a sort of friend like other students. So I trusted him with some reservations, of course.
He would freely browse our collection of books and journals, just like any other students in our library.
One morning, Raymond saw the exhibit of books and a school organ I displayed along our corridor. These materials could be seen through our glass divider.
He got inside the library and proceeded to the displayed materials. Then he came to me and asked me if he could photo-copy one of the displayed books. I told him, he could.
But he changed his mind. And he put back to the display the book that he showed me. Then he left the library.
Suddenly it came to my mind to see the displayed materials.
I suddenly noticed that the first page of the school organ, Pagbutlak, was missing.
I went out and checked whether he was still around.
He was gone.
Immediately, I informed my colleagues about the missing page one, and the person who probably has taken it out without permission.
Few minutes after, Raymond came to me and asked me why I wanted to talk to him. One of my co-workers had spotted him inside the library and he was informed that I wanted to talk to him.
I asked him why he took the first page of Pagbutlak.
He denied. I told him he was the only person who came to the library that morning. And he acknowledged it.
He told me he did not go the displayed material.
But I told him, he even showed me the book he wanted to photocopy, which was one of the materials on display.
OK sir, he said.
But he still denied having taken the page.
I told him, he would just return it and that would be all right.
OK, he said, he would replace it with his old copy tomorrow.
OK, I said.
So I waited for him.
That was one week ago and he has not returned to me yet.

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