When Harvard noticed that some rare books were stolen, they installed bars on the shelves, locking the books in. They remain inaccessible to students while the university catalogs them.
While Harvard has a lot of books and a lot of libraries on campus, it’s still the principle of the matter. In order to punish the students they are restricting access, which is just wrong. They admit to making a rash decision. In hindsight, they should have added glass doors, as one student is quoted in the article.
I really can’t imagine a library doing this, let alone a Harvard one. Then again, it’s hard for me to imagine anyone stealing books from a library. (One of my friends admitted to me that she has stolen from the campus bookstore because she didn’t have the money to pay for a book she needed for class and I’m okay that – the bookstore really does charge an arm and a leg for books we need for school!)