Copperas Cove: Overdue Library Book Lands Local Man In Jail
Man jailed for overdue library book. Extreme or needed?
That's a little weird. It seems like it would be counter-productive. The resources used to carry out the law would be far more expensive than replacing the book. In the case you cited the book was returned the day after he was arrested so I guess it worked in this case. They are spending dollars to save dimes.
If I'm reading it right, which I might not be due to a 4yo on my lap and a 9yo yapping in my ear, the law's been in place for four years and this is the first arrest. I don't see that as a waste of resources; I see that it's working the way it's supposed to. It's the scare factor so when the multiple phone calls and emails go out about the *very* overdue book, the threat of being arrested is probably enough for most people to finally bring the book back or make restitution. And for the occasional person who ignores the warnings, there's an ultimate consequence of being arrested & paying a $200 fine.
And this might actually be necessary to collect a fine for overdue books because some localities restrict the issuance of fines. It might be a local ordinance that the library can't collect fines on overdue books, so without this law there's little incentive for anyone to return an overdue book or make restitution if they've lost a book. The article doesn't say that, but a friend mentioned that the library where she grew up couldn't assess fines so books were always missing and it was awful.
I guess now he'll respond to all notices from the library. Lesson learned.
I would like to compare data from the last ten years regarding overdue library books and fines. The threat of being jailed for an overdue library book is not what is going to motivate me to return the book.
Any person committing an unlawful act as set forth in subsection shall upon conviction be subject to a fine up to, but not to exceed, two hundred dollars ($200.00) for each offense.
I remember way too many times when I received notices that I had an overdue book that I had already returned. It wasn't just one library - it was several different school, county, and city libraries. The first thing we would do is search the shelves. That usually solved the problem. The book had been returned, they just didn't check it in.
So what *proof* is going to be suffiecient to convict someone for not returning an overdue library book? If I have checked out 500 books in the past year and 499 have been returned, is it really reasonable the I would have one overdue book? Or is it more likely that the book was returned but they didn't check it in properly?
I'd be in jail, lol. I admit that I'm horrible at returning books in time
Here if you do not pay it adds up to the cost of replacing the book. then you owe the cost of the book.. and can not use the library until you pay the fine. I do not think using our resources for that instead of housing .. meth users (which is a big issue in our county.. for example) is a wise use of tax payer money. just don't let the person check out another book till the person pays the fine.
I believe it is that way at our library as well.