May 16, 2022

Canada: 400 Urine-Stained Library Books Destroyed in Leamington, Ontario

From The Star (Toronto):

The pages of books often yellow with age, but almost 400 volumes at a southwestern Ontario library have yellowed before their time.

For the past three weeks, staff at an Essex County Library branch in Leamington have been discovering urine-doused books on their shelves. The latest incident was Monday, and each discovery reveals about 30 to 90 damaged books.

The perpetrator, who has yet to be caught, has caused about $5,000 in damage.

As soon as they’ve been touched with a biohazard … we would not circulate them to the public, they’re destroyed,” said Janet Woodbridge, chief librarian and CEO of the Essex County Libraries.


Police have been interviewing people at the library as part of the probe, but at this point there is no theory as to how many people are involved or what their motive may be.

“They are certainly exploring all avenues to catch this person,” said Const. Stephanie Moniz with the Essex County OPP.

Moniz noted it seems most likely that the culprit is urinating on the books, as opposed to dousing the books with urine, but all possibilities are being considered.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.