UA library cleaning up hate speech vandalism

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Vandalism is ugly.  Especially when it involves hate speech.  That's what they're cleaning up over at the main library at the University of Arizona.

In recent months, library staff at the U of A have uncovered obscene language and sketches inside about 50 books.

"This one is a book of drawings and virtually every page has extensive commentary written on it but there's a lot of obscenity, mostly of a sexual nature," said Associate Dean of Libraries Robert Mitchell.

Mitchell says the commentary also attacks religions, races, and sexual orientations.

He says there are about 5.5 million books in the main library, which is open to the public.  He's not entirely shocked by the discovery.

"We feel obliged to let citizens come in and use the material that their taxes paid for and out of a number of that size you're going to get some screwballs," said Mitchell.

Replacement estimates range from $3,000-$8,000. Students say the damage is deeper than any dollar figure.

"It's not a nice thing to do it shows no tolerance if there is hate speech. It's about being well rounded and diverse," said a university student.

There are no suspects and the associate dean believes the vandalism was committed by a small number of individuals. 

Students, however, want someone held accountable, "Definitely stop becuase its hurtful especially as a minority here in the United States.  Well, it's a cime defacing public property so something should be done about it."

Library staff says it's hard to tell when the vandalism took place.

A report has been filed with U of A police.