British Library Denies Use of Scissors to Woman Because She "Might" Stab Staff

The Holborn Library staff is overly paranoid about being stabbed.

At least that's what we're led to believe, after the British library refused to loan a woman a pair of scissors, because she "might stab a member of staff."

According to a story on the BBC website, the Camden Council, located in north London, was forced to apologize to Lorna Watts, a self-employed dressmaker, after they refused to loan her the scissors.

Watts told the Beeb, "I asked why I couldn't borrow a pair of scissors and she said, 'they are sharp, you might stab me.' I then asked to borrow a guillotine (paper cutter) to cut up my leaflets but she refused again - because she said I could hit her over the head with it!"

Actually, the thought never occurred to me until just now. I guess borrowing a cricket bat is out of the question.

Watts then visited three other libraries, and was denied her request in all three locations.

"It's absurd - there are plenty of heavy books I could have hit her with if I wanted to," Watts said.

Other things that can serve as weapons at your local library:
  • Pens and pencils are just as stabby as scissors, plus you'll get ink on your victim.

  • Magazines that can be rolled up into clubs.

  • CDs and DVDs that can be flung as weapons, a la shiny Chinese throwing stars.

  • The little chains that the pens are attached to the desks with can be used to strangle officious librarians.

A spokeswoman for the Camden Health and Safety Executive said there is no policy against loaning out sharp instruments.

"People know their own workplaces and must carry out their own risk assessments", she said. "But we do ask workplaces to take a common sense approach. This could be a case of someone misinterpreting the rules."

Could be? No, Moby Dick could be a story about a big fish. This is just out and out stupid.

A Camden Council spokeswoman told the BBC, "We are sorry we have not reached our usual high standards. We will investigate fully as soon as possible."

As soon as we're allowed to check out a magnifying glass. They're concerned we might start a fire.

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