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The Law Librarian and the FBI: A Shaggy Dog Tale in Six Parts: PART FIVE



Earl: I just ate a bowl of rice puddin’ …AND got a belly rub! All’s right with the world. Zzzzz.
Mooch: Call the U.N.!
(Mutts (2003) )

Then came November 2006. Overnight, it seemed as if the Time of Paranoia was moving on. I finally began to feel quite comfortable, if not entirely safe from having my tax returns audited, to least to seeing through my quest to get my library’s books returned. And then an inventory of items taken from the Mayfield residence and office surfaced, not publicly, but it was no longer a state secret. (I did not quite have a Deep Throat, but I did have a Throat That Was Willing and Able to Clear Itself Periodically.) I didn’t have to be furtive when asking Brandon, his attorney, the federal public defender, and others, “are you able to check the inventory?” The right to Speak Out was returning, albeit slowly.

But now there was another problem. With one exception, no one with an inventory seemed particularly to care. I wrote, I phoned, and no one responded. What’s a librarian to do? What about my law library’s books?

I brooded, was told on more than one occasion to let it go, but couldn’t and then, a few weeks later, a practical and wise friend told me to go to the source, “call the U.S. Attorney’s office” – just like that. And I did. In another couple of days I found myself talking with a local FBI agent who offered to check if my library’s books were on the inventory of items taken from Mr. Mayfield’s house. He obviously was somewhat amused by the request and didn’t really care about the books, nor should he I suppose, but he offered to check the inventory, which is all I ever wanted.

You see, it is my job to care about library books, not his. He has other things to care about. Besides, in the scheme of things, lost books just don’t make the cut. A lost book isn’t the death of a loved one, a beloved 4 (or maybe 2 or 3) legged companion, a city, or a country. But looked at in other ways, some books are greater than all of these (no, not the ones that disappeared from my library, but yes, some books are priceless).

To be continued …