If you are one of those members of the Athens-Limestone public library in Athens, Alabama who are way past the deadline for the borrowed books, you might be in for much more than a hard, cold stare from the librarian!
While the other libraries either revoke the membership of the lazy and irresponsible patrons or fine them, the Athens-Limestone public library is taking extremes measures to ensure that the borrowed books and DVDs are returned in time.
The Executive Director of the library, Paula Laurita announced the new policy after noticing that books worth more than $200,000 need to be recovered. According to the new rules, the overdue books will be fined up to $100 or could land the borrower in jail for 30 days, or even both.
Paula said that the rules are being changed due to increasingly careless attitude of the library patrons:
“We have too many outstanding books that haven’t been returned. People with several hundred dollars’ worth of library materials that are sitting at home. Sometimes we hear, ‘I lent my library card to my cousin’. I just want to ask, ‘Would you lend your cousin your credit card? If they go and get $700 worth of clothing and you’re responsible for the bill, would you do that?”
The library allows its members to borrow up to 25 books, which is how they ended up with such huge amount of missing books! Paula explained that the jail sentence is an ultimate measure, not the first step:
“It’s not our first step. Our first step is to have a good relationship with our patrons and remind them to bring everything back.”
The people with overdue books will first be reminded via email or text. Failing to respond to the initial warnings, court summons would be issued. Ignoring all the red signs could land you a hefty fine or even some jail time!
What an interesting reply to the ‘What are you in for?’ would this offence make!