Condom ‘leaves trace’ at JFK Library

By Peter Sowards, Senior Reporter

By Peter Sowards


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An EWU student was surprised with more than just a computer when recently checking out a laptop from the JFK Library.

Graduate student Jeslyn Lemke discovered an unwrapped, unraveled condom in the side pocket of a laptop case immediately after receiving the laptop from the lower level service desk in JFK Library on Feb. 23. “I was all checked out and I lifted the strap out of the the laptop case and this big, wet condom just came flopping out onto the counter,” Lemke said.

Lemke was returning a laptop after the three-day loan period had expired and picking up a new one. The library keeps the straps tucked into the side pockets of the case to keep the straps from dangling onto the floor. Lemke noted that the reservoir tip of the condom was empty.

“The library right now has a ‘leave no trace’ policy for eating,” Lemke said. “They have that posted everywhere, and here you have the library staff definitely leaving a trace.”

JFK Library circulation manager Gary Jeffries was unaware of the situation when it was brought to his attention by The Easterner on Feb. 26. He said that every item goes through an inspection process after its return, but that the library is very busy right now. “Something like that could have been there awhile and was just stuck to something,” Jeffries said. “If you work here long enough, you see it all.”

However, Jeffries was skeptical that the condom had been simply overlooked. “It’s hard for me to believe that our students would not have caught that,” he said.

Service desk supervisor Heidi Chittim arrived at the library on Feb. 25 and saw a note on the laptop case informing her that there had been a condom in it. Chittim threw out the case, noting that one of the zippers was broken anyway. “They replaced the case,” Lemke said. “I definitely got a new case, but I kept the same laptop.”

Lemke said that she hopes this will inspire the library to be more thorough after loaned-out equipment is returned. “I just want to know that the library administration is aware that this happened and that they’re taking measures about it,” she said. “God knows what other human fluids are on these laptops that get checked in.

“If we want a healthy, safe campus, the staff at the library better get all hygenic on these laptops and other library equipment. This should not have happened.”

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