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Offer of Cash in the Stacks Produces Mayhem at Library

April 7, 1994

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ A disc jockey who hoped to encourage reading by hiding cash in the stacks left the library with a heap of trash.

More than 800 people tore through the public library Tuesday, ripping the covers off books, then throwing them on the floor when they failed to find money, library spokeswoman Marsha Anderson said.

People were ″climbing the shelves, stepping on each other and elbowing people in the face″ to get at books, she said.

Listeners of KYNG-FM disc jockey A.W. Pantoja told library officials the country station had hidden up to $10,000 dollars in books. Pantoja offered only $100 during his afternoon show Tuesday, program director Dan Pearman said.

″He thought putting a few dollars here and there might motivate people to go to the library,″ Pearman said Wednesday.

Pantoja didn’t ask the library for permission first.

″It was kind of a last-minute inspiration, and typically when he does that kind of stuff, 30 or 40 people show up and then they leave,″ Pearman said.

The Dallas station regrets the impromptu promotion and plans to pay for damage. Ms. Anderson said no estimate had been made. About 3,000 to 4,000 books were removed from the shelves, she said.

In a letter to Pearman, City Manager Bob Terrell called the station ″irresponsible and negligent.″ He asked city attorney Wade Adkins to investigate what further action, including criminal charges, could be pursued.

Terrell also planned to complain to the Federal Communications Commission.

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