“Mark is just one of many young scofflaws who are taking advantage of a program by the Queens Borough Public Library intended to help younger library users eliminate their overdue fines. While the penalties for failing to return an item on time for library users younger than 21 might not seem high – 10 cents per day for a book, $1 per day for a CD or DVD – they can add up and be onerous for children from families of limited means. And once library users have accumulated a total of $15 in fines, their borrowing privileges can be suspended.” (via NYTimes.com)
“Punished for reading? A Cypress Lake High School freshman was blocked from going to homecoming because of an overdue library book.
“This is my dress I got for homecoming,” said Dominique Stearns, showing off her gold and white dress. She says she went to at least 10 stores and spent hours shopping with her mom trying to find the perfect dress.”
“On March 15, 1975, a man owed a book to Chicago Public Library.Tuesday, more than 37 years later, he ventured into the Oriole Park Library and returned it.For three weeks, all fines for overdue books are being forgiven under the citys first complete library amnesty in 27 years. The program started Monday.Jessica Bertola, head library clerk at Oriole Park, said the man told her he had been cleaning his Naperville home and found the book, “Fluidic Systems Design Guide.”
via Chicago Tribune
“Your library card status may soon follow you like your credit history. Washington and Dakota county libraries are pursuing a $47,000 federal grant to try out a library card verification system that would tell them instantly if someone from the neighboring county is a good bet as a book borrower People increasingly use libraries where they work or visit, not just where they live, and a computer link between library patron accounts would stop people from ducking fines for overdue materials at their home libraries and skipping to another county to get books.”
“Lori Teel said she can’t remember checking out a “Twilight” book and movie from the Portales Public Library, but she’s not likely to forget her overnight stay in jail for failing to return them. Teel was arrested and handcuffed at her Portales home in front of her five small children earlier this month because of $35.98 worth of library materials allegedly taken out and not returned, according to a tort claim notice sent to the Portales city clerk on Monday. The overdue library fine led to a summons for Teel to appear in Portales Municipal Court, according to the claim. A municipal court judge issued warrants for Teel’s arrest last year after she failed to appear in court, but the summons and warrants were mailed to an address at which Teel hadn’t lived since childhood, and she never received any notices, she and her attorney say.”
“A New York library worker who admitted stealing more than $160,000 in overdue book fines and other revenue has been sentenced to six months in jail. The Westchester district attorney’s office says Yonkers resident Margo Reed will have to pay back the full amount and spend 4 1/2 years on probation.
via Associated Press
The Boston Globe – “On a Saturday morning at the Gleason Public Library in Carlisle last month, Jason Walsh deposited a tall stack of materials on the returns desk and automatically reached for his wallet. It was the end of school vacation, and he was sure that at least a few of the books, CDs, and DVDs his three young daughters had consumed over the past week had accrued some fines. But the librarian waved him off, explaining that Gleason had stopped charging for overdue materials five months ago. Like many library patrons, Walsh was surprised. Aren’t overdue fines as integral to the fabric of the public library system as, say, Dewey decimal numbers or signs asking for quiet?”
WSJ – “Somewhere—maybe forgotten under a sofa cushion, or jammed at the bottom of a long-abandoned backpack—is a copy of “Eating the Alphabet: Fruits & Vegetables from A to Z,” borrowed from the Brooklyn Public Library system on Feb. 28, 2001. It’s time to bring it back. Under a new amnesty program launched Thursday, the city’s three library systems will forgive all penalties on overdue books and other materials checked out by children under age 18. And that includes “Eating the Alphabet,” the Brooklyn system’s longest-lost item checked out by a young patron.
North County Times – “Police recovered thousands of stolen library books and DVDs and arrested the 44-year-old woman who had them at her home, Carlsbad police said Wednesday. Maria Nater of Vista was booked into Vista jail Tuesday night on suspicion of receiving stolen property, according to San Diego County Sheriff’s Department records.”
AP – “One look at the Houston Public Library’s delinquency records is enough to both buoy and sink the hearts of book-lovers: Borrowers seem to like the printed word so much that they’ve failed to return 243,102 books since 1999. In all, 119,558 library patrons have taken 325,000 items from the system since 1999, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis of the delinquency database.”