Miskatonic University Press

Unethical librarian in Archie

archie libraries

There’s a terribly unethical school librarian in the Archie story “Know When to Fold!” She actually tells Betty who borrowed a particular book. This violates the most basic privacy ethics of librarianship.

In the story, someone steals Archie’s notebook and starts making paper airplanes and folded figures from its pages. Betty has an idea and runs to the library.

Just let me check the files!
Just let me check the files!

Betty runs back to the gang and says, “Listen up, everybody! I think I have a line on the perp! Our new book on origami was just taken out this morning!” And it was borrowed by … Reggie. He’s caught in the middle of making an origami object and given detention, which seems strong punishment for learning the Japanese art of paper folding.

This school librarian made an appalling mistake in given away user borrowing information. Reggie has the right to borrow whatever books he wants without anyone else knowing. She needs to immediately implement a privacy policy that prevents this from happening, and then she needs to follow it.

Further, the numbers on the end of the range of stacks only have two digits. The Riverdale High School library would definitely be using the Dewey Decimal System, and Dewey always uses three digits, for example 188 for Stoic philosophy or 920 for biographies. I seriously question the professional expertise of this librarian.

“Know When to Fold!” was written by Frank Doyle, pencilled by Stan Goldberg, inked and lettered by Rod Ollerenshaw and coloured by Barry Grossman. It first appeared in Betty and Me 181 (March 1990), but I read it in World of Archie (Jumbo Comics) Double Digest 84 (January 2019). It is copyright Archie Comic Publications.