A question for the librarians

A lawyer friend brought this case to my attention:

Wisconsin woman, 20, arrested for two overdue library volumes

Basically, she borrowed two novels and didn’t return them. The library sent letters to her house, which she ignored. That’s when the Failure to Return Library Materials ordinance made it possible for police to go to her house and arrest her.

I’m not aware of the varying levels of procedure found at libraries around the country, but I was under the impression that at the very worst, someone would have their account frozen and a collection agency brought in to try to collect the amount (it would have to be a large amount to warrant the cost of the collection agency).

I don’t think this was covered anywhere in the classes I took – what do all y’all librarians know about this?

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3 Responses to “A question for the librarians”

  1. Your mom says:

    I was told that years ago at the DeWitt Library the Board members would go to the houses of delinquent patrons and ask for the books they had check out and not returned.

  2. A says:

    It’s not common, but not unheard-of, either, and depends on local laws and how they’re enforced. The library has to have some recourse for books that don’t get returned, otherwise they’d be irresponsibly managing taxpayers’ property. Note that the young lady in WI didn’t just ignore an overdue notice, she ignored a COURT CITATION “issued after she failed to respond to letters and phone calls from the Grafton library.”

    See also:

  3. Erin M says:

    I believe it was the citation that screwed her – so to speak. I think it’s awesome btw – learn to share bitches 😉

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