CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A Harvard University dean says damage to three dozen books on gay and lesbian issues that appeared to have been doused in urine in a campus library was simply an accident.
Campus police were investigating the incident that occurred Nov. 24 and reported Friday as a hate crime.
Dean Evelynn Hammonds told The Crimson student newspaper Monday that an investigation determined that a library worker found a bottle of what appeared to be urine on a shelf in the Lamont Library and accidentally spilled it.
It remains unclear what a bottle of urine was doing in a library.
The 36 books worth several thousand dollars will be replaced.
Harvard College Queer Students and Allies co-chairman Marco Chan expressed relief that the damage was not an act of homophobia.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Police at Harvard University say they are investigating vandalism to about 40 books about lesbian and gay issues at a school library as a hate crime.
Security staff at Lamont Library said in a report filed with campus police on Friday that it appeared someone poured urine on the books on Nov. 24. An empty bottle was found nearby.
A police spokesman tells The Crimson student newspaper that all the books were about lesbian, gay and same-sex marriage issues.
Library spokeswoman Beth Brainard says it took so long to report the incident because staff wanted to assess the value of the books. She says they were worth several thousand dollars and will be discarded.
Marco Chan, co-chairman of the Harvard College Queer Students and Allies, called the incident “disconcerting.”