Tuesday, February 25, 2014



Feel free to print and display the sign below,
to help us in our investigative quest.
Police Chief Shawn Langseth received a frantic telephone call on Monday, February 24, 2014.  “It’s GONE,” wailed the voice at the other end of the line, “GONE!”  The call was from Adrian Branch Librarian, Meredith Vaselaar.  She was referring to the library’s trusted long-time tape dispenser.  “Are you sure you simply didn’t misplace it?” Langseth asked, “Perhaps it is underneath something.”  (A valid question, as the librarian is known for being a bit untidy.)  “It is not lost,” insisted Vaselaar, “it is truly missing!”

Faster than you can say “Bob’s-Your-Uncle” (movie reference, thank you), Chief Langseth had arrived at the library.  What greeted his eyes was not only chaotic, but also disturbing: a distraught librarian, wringing her hands; a check-out desk, littered with shards of newspapers; glue and scissors in disarray.  However, there was one more thing that indicated that this was not an ordinary mishap. 

The library tape dispense had been kidnapped!

Oh, those clever criminals tried to hide their tracks!  This was not just any ransom note, filled with clues hidden in ink smudges and fingerprints.  Nay! The criminals had fashioned the ransom message out of words cut from library newspapers, adding charges of vandalism to those of kidnapping. 

The ominous note read as follows:  “If you want to see your tape dispenser again, bring candy!”

“What are we going to do!” wailed Vaselaar, “granted, our tape dispenser was just two weeks from retirement, but it had not had time to show our intern dispenser (Ralph) the ropes!”  The entire staff was fond of the old tape dispenser, which had proven indispensable over the years.  Although Ralph is fulfilling the duties of tape dispenser as best as can be expected, he is no replacement for the one that has been kidnapped.

Vaselaar is quick to point out that the inconvenience of training in Ralph pales in comparison to the loss of the old tape dispenser, who was much more of a friend and colleague, than a mere piece of equipment.  “Will the criminals treat our tape dispenser with respect? Is it in any discomfort? Is it still intact?” asked Vaselaar.

It is the affection the entire staff has for the old tape dispenser that has caused a bit of a disagreement between Chief Langseth and Librarian Vaselaar.  The Chief wants the library staff to wait and not give in to the demands of the criminals.  Vaselaar disagrees, wanting instead to fill the desk-top candy dish immediately, to ensure a swift and safe return of the old tape dispenser.  After an intense discussion, Vaselaar agreed to wait – for now.

In the meantime, signs have been posted around town, alerting the public to the disappearance of the tape dispenser.  The dispenser is described as follows:  color – beige; 3” tall, 7.5” long, and 2.75” wide; it weighs 1.25 lbs. 

As the staff awaits anxiously for word about their tape dispenser, Vaselaar has a message for the kidnappers:  “You had better be careful and return our tape dispenser unscathed,” warns Vaselaar, “We won’t take kindly to any harm that befalls our beloved tape dispenser.  In other words,” Vaselaar continues, in an ominous tone, “you have messed with the wrong librarians!”