Overdue Library Books? You’re Under Arrest!

Holding onto overdue library books for too long is a federal offense. Kidding! But one Massachusetts woman opened her door one day to find an officer scolding her for a few overdue library books.

According to this article by CNN, the police paid the family a visit for two overdue children’s books that had not been returned after a warning letter was sent and multiple phone calls made. Granted, the books had been lying on the family’s bookshelf since April, but was that really necessary? Especially when, according to Kristina Sgueglia, it left a 5-year-old girl in tears for fear of being arrested?

Hailey — who was standing beside her mom when the officer arrived — then burst into tears.

‘Is that policeman going to arrest me?'” Benoit quoted her daughter to CNN affiliate WBZ-TV.

“I was scared,” added Hailey.

The library said the little girl’s father also owed $100 in late fees for audiobooks. Again, I completely understand the library using force to have these books returned, but I’m still not entirely sure sending a police officer to the house is the right move. Though it’s something the library in Charlton, Massachusetts seeming to be doing more and more, as Sgueglia explains.

Police Chief James A. Pervier said his officers have been asked by library personnel to make similar visits to at least 13 other Charlton households over library late fees.

Officials say the police-backed crackdown has since inspired more prompt book returns among library patrons.

What do you think? Is sending an officer to a home to get unreturned library books the best way to get those books back? If not, what else can be done?

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Overdue Library Books? You’re Under Arrest!

  1. Wow, that is incredible. Libraries are stepping it up.

  2. It seems like it’s working, but I don’t think it’s an effective use of a police officer’s time to be honest. Maybe the libraries could hire a person to represent them to go door-to-door, though there may be a safety issue there – people with overdue library books are shady characters after all.

  3. I seriously think their resources could be used elsewhere. Speaking of, my daughter just got a letter from the library for lost books. She hadn’t even gotten an overdue slip yet. She was freaking out she owed $60. I’ll be returning them tomorrow!

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