Woman Arrested for Not Returning Books (Ignoring Summons, Really)

What story is the Grafton Library telling about its users by forwarding two overdue books to the police? How long will the library be known as the one that arrested the lady for two books?

http://www.wisn.com/news/17258567/detail.html

http://lisnews.org/woman_cuffed_booked_not_paying_library_fines

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7 thoughts on “Woman Arrested for Not Returning Books (Ignoring Summons, Really)”

  1. If you don’t pay fines and you ignore court summons, you get arrested. It seems to me that the library is not to blame for this woman’s irresponsibility and blatant disregard for the law. She goes on to state that she still won’t return the books because they’re paid for, but she’s wrong if she has payed only for the late fees and not also the book replacement fees. Her apparent arrogance and selfishness are no reason to castigate the library.

  2. I would tend to agree but I was thinking about it from the standpoint of folks in the town who might react only to the headlines and the story as it’s told around town. Ignoring a court summons is bad.

    I wonder though why two books overdue made it all the way to the police department?

  3. I was wondering the same thing… two overdue books made it to the police? I know our library has folks far more delinquent that that and both our director and our local police refuse to take it to the law enforcement level. I can understand (and have suggested) involving a collections agency, but this case is a bit unusual… and does cast the library in a poor light (if people are just reading headlines).

    That said, she essentially STOLE those books. She says she’s keeping them (which means she still has them somewhere and could have returned them at any time *prior* to the arrest)… and maybe the rest of Grafton’s patrons will think twice about ignoring overdue notices! I just wish the news outlet hadn’t picked this up and made it about this *poor twenty year old girl* who had to work the day she was supposed to be in court. And why didn’t library administration make an on-camera appearance? Stand behind your policy, you know? That, or change it.

    I am now wondering if Grafton ever has “amnesty” days – when you can just bring back what you have and the library accepts it without payment? I’ve suggested this at our library, too.

  4. If everyone had this attitude about not returning books there would be no books on the library shelves.

  5. The library customer (in this case “user’ more be more appropriate) intentionally kept the items she checked of the library. Perhaps the Grafton Library was telling the taxpayers that support it that when recources are short, the institution will do what takes to make their customers responsible. Evidently, this young woman still doesn’t get it!

  6. Interestingly the customer involved said that she didn’t blame the library. She was interviewed on Canadian radio and she said that really she understood that she had received appropriate notice from the library itself. She does have a problem with the town’s ordinance that allows individuals to be arrested for such a minor crime. She also stated that the police put her in handcuffs which seemed to throw her most of all.

  7. Police don’t put people in handcuffs for the failure to return library books. Police DO put peole in handcuffs who ignore a court summons and fail to appear for a court date. It could just as easily have been several unpaid parking fines that caused the summons in the first place. Also, municipal libraries make many, many, many attempts to contact people to get materials returned prior to taking this last resort step of turning to the police. And there is usually a fine threshold that will trigger the police referral. Think of this public reaction: many people are glad the city is a good steward of public funds and takes thfet of public property seriously.

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