"Is there any way I can make some copies from this book?"
"Of course, sir. You can add value to your I.D. at that station behind you."
"Ah. It doesn't take change?"
"No, sir. We do have coin-operated machines in the stacks, though."
"All I have is a ten dollar bill. Can you break that here?"
"Sorry. We don't make change anymore at the desk."
"I guess I'm out of luck, then."
"Sir, we have coin operated machines on the third floor of the stacks and B level."
"I suppose I could just rip out the pages I need."
"Umm. Sir? I wouldn't recommend that."
Jesus Christ - whatever happened to taking notes? Is there really no rational alternative to photocopying save the criminal mutilation of a library book? Even if the remark was made as a joke, it wasn't funny; unfortunately there is no shortage of people who come to this venerable institution and defile the collection by stealing books, hiding them from others, or excising from the texts the information they want either out of laziness or pure unadulterated malice. Suggesting that you'd go and do just that rather than take the Stacks elevator up or down two stories tells me that you are the kind of person who shouldn't be allowed into a library in the first place. I mean, what would happen if, tired of standing in line at Best Buy, you told the clerk that you suppose you could just walk out the door without purchasing that plasma screen T.V.? I'm sure they'd take it all in good humor there. Try it!