Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Library Fines Are Serious Business

Many of my more meme savvy readers may recognize the nod in my blog title. However, according to the Charlton (Mass) Library overdue books will be retrieved with extreme prejudice - regardless of your toddler's age.

CBSBoston.com Article

Now this is not the first time the police have been sent after a library scofflaw. Usually we hear these stories attached with somebody who has some really ridiculous fines and a bad history. I am no saint whatsoever when it comes to this. I have yet to see the sheriff's blue lights outside my window. Most libraries understand that people can be forgetful. I believe that they use this as a tactic to create a little buzz and just get the message out there that they would like their books back. I have no issue with that.

Here comes the big however... A 5 year old girl! Really now? Are those dog-eared. pastel sprayed books that important. It is not like she checked out your one first-edition print of The Catcher in the Rye. Isn't that in the least bit excessive.They have amnesty return days for Heaven's sake. The books aren't that expensive.

You don't want to traumatize the child to hate the library. The library is meant to foster community and be a resource. Yes, obviously the institution wants to protect the community material, but this was a massive mental malfunction for the staff involved.

I really feel sorry for the cop who ultimately is going to be portrayed as the heel and will catch nothing but national ridicule (It was on Drudge - nuff said) until this blows over. The library was clearly wrong in this and needs to apologize to the family. I am very much a republican, law and order guy, but even with that being said there is a line.

So libraries, please don't be stupid when it comes to this. You have a standard of decorum to show the community. You do not want children to never want to never enter your doors or their property-tax paying, community issue voting parents to hate you. Go after the easy targets, not the rugrats.

It is unknown whether or not she only had 30 seconds to comply.

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