As an elementary school librarian, I find the story below absurd. The paperwork, manpower, etc. to arrest and process the woman mentioned below would cost way more than the $13.95 book. This was justice taken too far. At my school, I don't even charge overdue fines. I charge for lost books. I certainly don't turn parents over to collection agencies if they don't pay for lost books. I even offer payment plans and reduced costs for those for whom it would be a struggle to pay. In the few cases where parents do not acknowledge my correspondence, their children simply lose borrowing privileges. I think a better course of action would have been to take away her borrowing privileges from all public libraries in her state of residence until the book was paid for.
Unreturned library book leads to woman's arrest
Published: Jan 24, 2009
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa woman has been arrested because she failed to return a library book.
Thirty-nine-year-old Shelly Koontz was arrested Thursday night on a fifth-degree theft charge. She is accused of keeping "The Freedom Writers Diary," which she checked out from the public library in nearby Jesup in April.
Police say the book - which is about a high school teacher's effort to inspire students to write - is valued at $13.95.
Court records show library employees tried repeatedly to contact Koontz by phone and mail. A police officer even visited her home last September.
Officials at the Buchanan County jail say Koontz was released after posting $250 bond. No telephone listing for Koontz could be found in the Independence area.
Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazetteonline.com/
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