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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Arrested for overdue library books - March 12th 2010, 08:59 PM

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/arrested-cu...0062565&page=3

I just wanted to get some opinions on this article. I work in a library, and I know that before I took my job I would have thought this was completely ridiculous. The thing is, though, a single family can really rack up a huge bill. Where I work, patrons are allowed to check out 50 books or audio-books, 7 DVDs, and 7 CDs at a time. Each item is checked out for three weeks, and can be renewed twice if there isn't a hold on it from another patron. Six months after the final due date an item will be marked as lost, at which point the patron must pay a replacement fee. There's a big price range, but's let's just say the average is around $15-$30 per item. Multiply that by 64.

I remember specifically a family of four. a mother had a bill of about $600, her daughter had a bill of nearly $800, her son $700. The father had a bill that was small in comparison: $92 for a season of the Twilight Zone. That's over $2000 in lost merchandise for us, that we have to pay to replace. And a bill this large isn't an uncommon occurence. This family found most of their lost items, and wound up with a bill just under $300, but most people don't. Most people just figure that the library is a way to get free stuff. It's not though. It's a way to rent free stuff. You have to return it people!







Anyway. That's my little rant. Anyone else have an opinion, or am I the only one who actually cares about this?


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Re: Arrested for overdue library books - March 12th 2010, 09:36 PM

Real criminals indeed they should be given the capital punishment or at least life in prison. But really now a days who needs the libraries anymore when you can download everything off the internet for a small fee and it’s yours to keep.


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Re: Arrested for overdue library books - March 12th 2010, 09:46 PM

Fair enough, I say. They're not yours to keep. You borrow them from the library, you know you're supposed to return them, and if you don't, then you should have to face consequences.
   
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Re: Arrested for overdue library books - March 12th 2010, 10:38 PM

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Originally Posted by mexico View Post
Real criminals indeed they should be given the capital punishment or at least life in prison. But really now a days who needs the libraries anymore when you can download everything off the internet for a small fee and it’s yours to keep.
Sad but true.


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Re: Arrested for overdue library books - March 12th 2010, 11:27 PM

Holy shit... Fines in England are way less then that. Then again, you can't book out that much stuff at once... I think you can take out 15 at most where I am.

But given the amount of money...I guess its not that ridiculous.



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Re: Arrested for overdue library books - March 12th 2010, 11:35 PM

I think it's about fair. You'd be arrested if you were found stealing from a shop or such, so how is stealing from a library any different? Part of borrowing books is agreeing to return them, and if you don't return them, you're stealing. People seem to think it's nothing to a library, but it really is.


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Re: Arrested for overdue library books - March 12th 2010, 11:47 PM

It's theft at the end of the day, isn't it?

However at my college library they charge you 10p per item per every day it's overdue, it's ridiculous, we come into the college EVERY DAY it's not like we're running off with them just still using them and forgetful! At the public library it's like 1p a week ... They also charge the 10p to the teachers, which is hilarious, and you can't take more books out whilst you have a debt. Very annoying.


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Re: Arrested for overdue library books - March 13th 2010, 12:51 PM

it's stealing.. why is it any different to going into a shop and stealing things off the shelf?.. yes, they should be fined and have to pay back whatever necessary.


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Re: Arrested for overdue library books - March 13th 2010, 12:59 PM

I used to be terrible at returning my books but now I'm over 16 and get charged for it I tend to either renew them over the internet or get them back in time. At the library I use if you have the books/CDs/DVDs overdue for over a month they send the book collector round which sounds really scary lol.
I don't think it was unreasonable to arrest them if they had that much stuff out and didn't plan on returning them. What punishment did they get? I had a quick look through the link but I couldn't see it.


   
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Re: Arrested for overdue library books - March 13th 2010, 02:08 PM

I am studying to be a Library Technical Assistant and volunteer in my town and school libraries. We have talked about this during my classes and it is stealing when the person takes a material out and does not intend to return it back but unfortunately unless you can prove that intent you only have a civil case. The only thing that you can do is send notices, send a book collector, take them to civil court. It really is sad. I think that when a month rolls around and a book becomes missing the person should pay for the book and also pay a hefty fine for what they did. And if they have a lot of stuff out raking up huge fines I think if the stuff is a month overdue then it should be considered criminal.


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Re: Arrested for overdue library books - March 13th 2010, 08:33 PM

Our university library tries to get around this problem by having a policy where if even a single item is over-due, the person cannot graduate and may be unable to get their final exam marks for the courses of the given semester/year they're in. It doesn't truly stop stealing the books but it can give the person a big incentive to bring the books back. Unfortunately, at our library, depending on the book, it can be loaned for only a certain time but many people take it out for much longer, especially if there's only a few copies of the book. This often has happened when studying for a big test or exam and is a real pain in the ass for anyone else who wants to use the book.

For public libraries though, I think arresting the person may be acceptable but I think it depends on how long overdue the materials were. For the fines, then I'd say simply add the fines up for each item and get the person the bill to pay. However, I'd only support this if the library called the person several times to remind him/her that the items were over-due and which ones were overdue.

For university libraries, I'm a bit more hesitant because the students pay to use the library, and although that does not give them permission to breach the rules, it's not something I'd consider expelling the kid for. Perhaps a quick arrest but the amount of time the materials are overdue is harder to calculate because some can be taken out longer than others. Also, the university library I use, depending on the time of day you rent something, it can be for a longer or shorter time (not sure why though).
   
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Re: Arrested for overdue library books - March 16th 2010, 02:49 AM

I'm iffy on this. Public libraries, sure. It's the same as stealing, so arresting them is okay, if they are refusing to return the books. But college libraries? Definitely not. My college has this issue with checking books back it, they often forget and just shelf the books, which means a fee for someone who turned the books in on time. Plus, you pay to use a college library, you should still return the books, but getting arrested for them being late would be dumb. Most college students return the books late, we use them to study and forget to return them.


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Re: Arrested for overdue library books - March 16th 2010, 05:53 AM

I think it makes perfect sense to arrest someone for overdue books. It's stealing and can cost the library a lot of money. Nothing wrong with them wanting to protect their property.


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Re: Arrested for overdue library books - March 16th 2010, 11:15 AM

Just return your stuff on time or pay the late fine and you can avoid being arrested. Simple.


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Re: Arrested for overdue library books - March 17th 2010, 08:42 AM

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My college has this issue with checking books back it, they often forget and just shelf the books, which means a fee for someone who turned the books in on time.
That does not occur at the university I attend so I don't think it's something all colleges or universities do.

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Plus, you pay to use a college library, you should still return the books, but getting arrested for them being late would be dumb. Most college students return the books late, we use them to study and forget to return them.
What about the students who want to use the books for studying also? There's a limited amount of each book so what would you suggest? Tough beans for someone else who needs the book to study or do research from? I know last semester for one of my research papers I really needed 1 book in particular as it was not online and the only copy of it was taken by someone. Happily, after being about 1 month overdue, the book was finally returned, thankfully intact and I got the stuff I needed from it. Did the person who used the book for an overdue time benefit? Definitely but do others who are patiently waiting benefit while it is used past its loan time? Nope, they suffer even more.
   
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Re: Arrested for overdue library books - March 18th 2010, 02:06 AM

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I think it's about fair. You'd be arrested if you were found stealing from a shop or such, so how is stealing from a library any different? Part of borrowing books is agreeing to return them, and if you don't return them, you're stealing. People seem to think it's nothing to a library, but it really is.
I agree.

I like to own books, but at the same time I read a lot of books and it would be a waste of paper and money to buy every single book I read. I love libraries for that reason. My house would be overflowing with books otherwise We already have about 7 bookcases full.


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