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PostPosted: Tue Feb 3, '09, 7:43 pm 
Do you ever get caught having to pay Library fees for late or overdue books, other materials from your local library?

How much does your Library charge for late fees?

I heard on the news yesterday that Capt. Sullenburger (sp?) had informed his local Library in California that he had lost one of their books which was on the airplane with him when the plane he was in command of hit some birds and he had to make a surprise crash landing in the waters of New York several weeks ago in which he and all the passengers survived thanks to his quick thinking and expertise in piloting that plane.

The Library has forgiven all the late fees in regards to this book, and agreed to replace the book, and they have also put a plaque with the book in honor of Capt. Sullenburger's heroics.

That was very nice and understanding of this Library in this situation, I think. :clap:

Every now and then I do read some horror stories of people in other communities / situations, though, who have overdue fees and they have been treated horribly - sometimes even arrested.

I try never to always return books when they are due, if possible, and never to have late fees, which by themselves can add up very quickly if left unattended for too long.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 3, '09, 8:09 pm 
I wonder if it could go like the episode of Futurama when Fry left pocket change in his bank and then became a millionaire due to the dividends given out, except in this case it would be the in the opposite direction.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 3, '09, 8:53 pm 
Sure, I've had to pay overdue fees before... but it's been a long time. More than 10 years, I know. I've no idea what the library charges these days. I don't really want to find out, either. ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 3, '09, 9:13 pm 
Haha, well, I've never heard of anyone being treated horribly or arrested(!) for overdue items, but it is the responsiblity of the patron to be aware of when their items are due. The items can always be renewed (even online!), or even re-checked out, that is, if someone else hasn't requested a hold on the item. Several notices are mailed out informing the patron that the item is overdue. Often, if the fine remains under a certain amount, it will eventually be waived. There are also good and legit excuses some patrons have for not returning books on time -- such as being in a hospital -- and surely fines would be waived in such circumstances. However, if someone has an item that's been overdue for a year and they've accumulated over a hundred dollars in fees, well, they need to be more responsible, dontcha think? :wink:

It's important to remember that librarians need to protect their resources so that other patrons are able to use the materials, as well. Libraries function on a budget, and unfortunately too many people abuse their libraries by stealing items, vandalizing, losing materials, and/or never returning materials. How is that fair to others in the community who need such resources?

It is as such that fines are a necessary evil. (Otherwise, how else can libraries ensure they can get their materials back?)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 4, '09, 1:04 am 
Rune_Walsh wrote:Haha, well, I've never heard of anyone being treated horribly or arrested(!) for overdue items,


Look at these:

1. Iowa woman jailed: http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2009/01/2 ... rary-book/

2. Wisconsin woman arrested: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/ye ... ooks1.html

3. Washington man arrested: http://www.komonews.com/news/archive/4145856.html

And, there are probably more if anyone cares to take the time to look.



Rune_Walsh wrote:but it is the responsiblity of the patron to be aware of when their items are due. The items can always be renewed (even online!), or even re-checked out, that is, if someone else hasn't requested a hold on the item. Several notices are mailed out informing the patron that the item is overdue. Often, if the fine remains under a certain amount, it will eventually be waived. There are also good and legit excuses some patrons have for not returning books on time -- such as being in a hospital -- and surely fines would be waived in such circumstances. However, if someone has an item that's been overdue for a year and they've accumulated over a hundred dollars in fees, well, they need to be more responsible, dontcha think? :wink:

It's important to remember that librarians need to protect their resources so that other patrons are able to use the materials, as well. Libraries function on a budget, and unfortunately too many people abuse their libraries by stealing items, vandalizing, losing materials, and/or never returning materials. How is that fair to others in the community who need such resources?

It is as such that fines are a necessary evil. (Otherwise, how else can libraries ensure they can get their materials back?)


I certainly agree that everyone should return their books, pay their fines, answer any court summons, etc., to take care of these matters before they get out of hand. However, I still think arresting people and taking them to jail is taking things too far. There are people who commit worse crimes or actions than this and are not arrested at all, or even slapped on the wrist, so to speak. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, though.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 4, '09, 2:56 am 
I got a kick out of reading those stories. Some librarians just aren't to be messed with. :lol:

Those are pretty extreme circumstances, but nonetheless, after the library called and called her and sent many letters, she was told by a freaking cop to bring the book back already. A cop.

Apparently, that particular library considered it stealing. Beware of the "Conan the Librarian" types... :rofl:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, '09, 9:38 pm 
Dang internet ate my comment. D:

Let's see... When I was a kid, I got to rent out a book at the library. I finished the book and gave it to my mom to return it. She put it in her trunk so she wouldn't forget it. That strategy didn't work. Even though she passed by the library almost every day going to and from work, she didn't return it. For months. When she finally returned it, the late fee was a hefty 60 dollars. My mom negotiated with the librarians and got the fee down to 40 dollars. Still a hefty price; I believe the book itself only cost about 20 or 30 dollars tops (it was a thin book). Moral of the story: Be kind, return on time.


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