I’m sure overdue books are a big problem for libraries, but sending the police to do your dirty work to get them back? That’s what a local library in Charlton, Mass., did when they sought late library books from a 5-year-old girl.
Boston CBS affiliate WBZ reports that “Charlton Police Sergeant Dan Dowd stopped by the home of Shannon Benoit to let her know that her daughter had two books several months overdue, which needed to be returned or paid for. “Her little daughter Hailey started crying and asked whether she was going to be arrested and taken to jail. Benoit was furious that the library would send police to her home.
In a conversation with WBZ, Sergeant Dowd admitted that even he wasn’t happy about this particular assignment: “”Nobody wanted to, on this end to get involved in it, but the library contacted us, and the chief delegated, and apparently I was one of the low men on the totem pole.” Apparently, overdue library books are a misdemeanor, so get those overdue books in before it’s too late!
Benoit says she found and returned the books, but complains that she never received any overdue notices, and that sending the police to retrieve overdue children’s books was way over the top. The library argues that they were simply at the end of their rope when it came to getting books back or overdue fines paid by the worst offenders, among which, they say, were the Benoits.
So what do you think? Did the Benoits get what they deserve for not following library policy, or should the library have found another way to collect its overdue books?