Continuing efforts to crack down on rogue borrowers, the River Campus Libraries have started placing bounties on the heads of patrons with accumulated fines of more than $100.
Any member of the UR community can participate in the new policy, provided that prospective bounty hunters attend a library-run screening of the movie ?Blade Runner.?
Circulation Supervisor Ann Finger said that she was enthusiastic about the new policy.
?Staff morale is at an all-time high,? she said upon trading in her stack of blank overdue slips for a Magnum .357 caliber pistol. ?Now we can stop licking envelopes and really start taking care of business. Plus, we can finally supplement our lousy wages.?
The base amount of the bounty depends on the borrowers? status ? undergraduates are worth $500, graduate students are worth $1,000 and professors can be cashed in for upwards of $2,000. In addition, the bounty will increase by 10 percent for every $100 in library fines.
Library Assistant Don Sigwalt said that library administrators were trying to promote school spirit and a feeling of campus community through bounty hunting.
?Forget about freshman housing and football games,? Sigwalt said. ?This is an incredible way to foster friendly competition and masculine cameraderie among students and on-campus groups.?
Dean of River Campus Libraries Ron Dow said that he encouraged creativity in the method of bounty hunting.
?Sure, a .38 caliber Remington is pretty effective, but the hunt becomes more fun with different weapons,? Dow said. ?We encourage hunters to extend themselves and open their minds to new methods of killing ? cross bow, musket, stun gun, Burmese tiger trap, Dining Services coffee ? the only limit is your imagination.?
Dow ceremoniously kicked off the new campaign on April 1, when he set out to claim the $2,420 bounty on the head of Professor of Political Science Gerald Gamm.
Gamm?s overdue books include William Riker?s ?The Art of Political Manipulation,? Niccollo Machiavelli?s ?The Prince? and Alex Comfort?s ?The Joy of Sex.?
English riding crops in hand, Dow and his company rode off to a horn call at 8 a.m. His trackers and a pack of bloodhounds picked up a scent soon afterward and surprised Gamm cheering in the stands of Fauver Stadium during the men?s soccer team practice.
The wily old fox escaped the ambush, fleeing to Rush Rhees Library, and a lively romp ensued.
As Gamm twisted and turned through the stacks in a desperate effort to escape, Dow and his companions expertly spurred their mounts down stairwells, over tables and trash cans and through the tunnels in spirited pursuit, leaving dozens of trampled patrons in their wake.
After upsetting the Java Cart outside of CLARC, Dow?s party temporarily lost Gamm?s trail, but reacquired it outside of Meliora Hall, driving him to earth in his office on the third floor of Harkness Hall. Cornered by the pack of baying bloodhounds, Gamm attempted to climb out his window.
Dow, who had been waiting in ambush outside, dropped him with a well-directed shot from his elephant gun, hitting Gamm directly in the bow tie.
?That was one hell of a shot ? I didn?t realize the old fella had it in him,? said senior student reference aide Josh Vinocour, a member of Dow?s hunting party.
The successful kill has stimulated interest in other big game, most notably Students? Association President Meng Wang, who has an overdue copy of ?Presidential Leadership for Dummies.?
Dow said that he would donate the bounty money to support special interest housing.
Gamm?s head is on display in the Hartnett Gallery and can be seen during normal viewing hours.
Director of Admissions Jamie Hobba had no comment.