RACHEL SLATTERY / THE EAGLE
A ceramic sheep was stolen outside Bender Library on Sept. 6.
Public Safety launched a full investigation, but the sheep was voluntarily returned to the library three days later.
Two library monitors chased the perpetrator who escaped down the School of International Service parking garage ramp around 10 p.m. last Thursday, said Mary Mintz, associate director for outreach at the Bender Library.
“The monitors called Public Safety because he’s kind of a valuable animal. We can’t have a sheep rustling,” she said. “I told the officer that if he [the sheep]’s returned unharmed, we’d rather not have the person prosecuted.”
Mintz said Public Safety originally believed that the sheep was located in Kreeger Hall after the Twitter account @DatLibrarySheep tweeted “im…lost in Kreeger.”
Public Safety originally believed the person behind the Twitter account was the perpetrator but found nothing after conducting a search in Kreeger Hall.
The sheep first appeared outside the library during the first week of classes in an effort to promote the library’s tours and walk-in research classes.
“We think that fits in well with the spirit of all AU students that you’re activist, you give back to society, you care about families in need, globally and locally,” Mintz said.
Participants in the classes can win an iPad, SmarTrip metro card or a sheep for a needy family. The sheep will be donated in the winner’s name through Heifer International, an organization that donates animals to poor countries.
The prize drawing will be held on Dec. 3.
Bender Library has worked with Heifer International to promote the classes for the past eight years. The goal is to remind students of the resources available to improve their research skills, according to Mintz.
Almost 1,000 students participated in the classes last year, but the library does not have a specific target goal in mind for this year, Mintz said.
“I think there are a lot of AU students who are interested in doing better research,” she said. “Faculty tell me that when they get a paper, they can tell if somebody has just Googled, even Google Scholar, versus using the databases.”
Classes are offered on a variety of subjects and skill levels, so even the more advanced students can benefit. The “Ask a Librarian” page on the library’s website also features a recently-updated FAQ list, email advice and the option to chat with a librarian.
“But let’s be honest, no one really uses them,” said Jennifer To, a senior in the School of Public Affairs and a front desk receptionist at the library.
However, she said these resources are a good reminder of the resources that the library offers before midterms and finals.