Urine Poured on LGBT Books in Harvard Library UPDATE: By Mistake

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A vandal has poured urine on about 40 books about gay issues in Harvard's Lamont Library. The books can't be salvaged--and may not be replaced, because other libraries on university grounds have copies of the befouled volumes.

Jezebel's Anna North notes that since new copies may not be purchased, "sadly, this means the pee-vandals may have gotten exactly what they wanted." North helpfully reminds that "anti-gay hate isn't confined to the South, or to high schools."

Bloggers are baffled by the still-unknown vandal's actions. Feministing's Samhita Mukhopadhyay is glad the vandalism is being treated as a hate crime: "A weird and immature prank that says so much about the perpetrators frame of mind, essentially making LGBT books toilette paper. And its just gross." Meanwhile, humor site Gawker's Maureen O'Connor writes, cryptically: "Like eggs broken and words spoken, urine soakin' in books cannot be mended."

UPDATE: It Was All a Big Mistake, The Harvard Crimson's Alice M. Underwood reports. It appears the incident was not a crime, but an accident.

Police have determined that library personnel "had accidentally spilled a bottle, containing what was reported to be urine, that had been found on the shelf, according to Hammonds. Harvard College Library plans to replace all 36 damaged books as soon as possible. ... Faculty of Arts and Sciences spokesman Jeff Neal wrote in an e-mail that it remains unclear why a bottle of urine was stowed in the library, adding that the spill was reported by the library employee—the same person who caused the spill, according to his understanding—and cleaned up the same day that it occurred.

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