Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Libraries on the book case for overdue fines (Crack down on scofflaws)
www.bostonherald.com ^ | Saturday, December 26, 2009 | Jessica Heslam

Posted on 12/26/2009 7:49:11 AM PST by GOPsterinMA

With the crippled economy forcing more Bay Staters to dust off library cards, local lending institutions are throwing the book at overdue scofflaws, turning them over to the cops and courts in a hard-nosed bid to collect fines and recover costly tomes and DVDs.

“The value of the materials is fairly high. We need to replace them,” said Martha Holden, director of the Peabody Institute Library, which has sent the law after a trio of overdue culprits.

The Peabody library filed criminal complaints against 19-year-old Alyssa Toste and 23-year-old Jeramie Crane on Dec. 15. Despite repeated notices, both Toste and Crane failed to return more than $500 worth of overdue books, DVDs, music CDs, books on tape and other items, Holden said.

Toste and Crane did not respond to requests for comment.

(Excerpt) Read more at bostonherald.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Government; US: Massachusetts
KEYWORDS: fine; library; massachusetts

1 posted on 12/26/2009 7:49:12 AM PST by GOPsterinMA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: GOPsterinMA

Puts me in mind of Bookman - the hard-nosed library cop from Seinfeld.


2 posted on 12/26/2009 7:50:50 AM PST by madmominct
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GOPsterinMA
They brought in this guy.


3 posted on 12/26/2009 7:50:50 AM PST by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GOPsterinMA

These two with $500 and a third one with $1000 due. Hmmm, here’s an idea. Instead of leaning them more and more, how about cutting up their library card long before it reached this amount.


4 posted on 12/26/2009 7:56:23 AM PST by bgill (The framers of the US Constitution established an entire federal government in 18 pages.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bgill
Hmmm, here’s an idea. Instead of leaning them more and more, how about cutting up their library card long before it reached this amount.

I believe that's the value of the stuff they checked out, not the amount of the fines. It is enough to count as a felony theft, that should get their attention.

5 posted on 12/26/2009 7:58:31 AM PST by Oshkalaboomboom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Oshkalaboomboom; bgill
They should have been cut off WAY before they got close to amounts that constitute felony theft. Not to do that rewards the bad behavior, IMO.
6 posted on 12/26/2009 8:01:46 AM PST by GOPsterinMA (Never bring a snowball to a gun fight.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: GOPsterinMA

So, let me see if I understand this correctly... The library, feeling hard up for money, has dedicated someone who likely pulls down $500 a week in salary, and probably $400 a week in benefits, to go hunt down people who haven’t paid their fines, possibly resulting in the repayment of $2,000?

Seems to me to be a constantly losing proposition. Because the end income will always be greater than the cost of having a public employee collect it.


7 posted on 12/26/2009 8:03:40 AM PST by kingu (Party for rent - conservative opinions not required.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: kingu

One more public employee hack - at least one more Rat vote for life.

Cousins of cousins of hacks gotta eat too!


8 posted on 12/26/2009 8:08:13 AM PST by GOPsterinMA (Never bring a snowball to a gun fight.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: GOPsterinMA
JERRY: Anyway, I hope there's no hard feelings.

BOOKMAN: Hard feelings? What do you know about hard feelings? Y'ever have a man die in your arms? Y'ever kill somebody?

JERRY: What is your problem?

BOOKMAN: What's my problem? Punks like you, that's my problem. And you better not screw up again Seinfeld, because if you do, I'll be all over you like a pitbull on a poodle.
9 posted on 12/26/2009 8:17:28 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GOPsterinMA

The liberal idiots running the libraries are not living in reality and are very hard nosed.
My oldest daughter borrowed a DVD copy of “Stripes”.
She then turned it in using the library’s drop box.
A month later she got a notice that the DVD wasn’t turned in and that the replacement fee was $100. She bought a copy ($14.99 + tax) and took it to the library as restitution. The took it as a donation and then wanted their original back plus fines.
She argued with them off and on for a year. The fines built up to $500. She didn’t pay it and they sold the $500 debt to a collection agency.
The collection agency put a bad debt mark on her credit report and she lost her student loans.
She had to take a part time job to stay in school because she couldn’t get a student loan. Her grades dropped and she struggled every year. After 3 years, her mother and I paid the %500 to the collection agency. They told us the bad mark couldn’t come off for 7 years. We hired an attorney and finally got things fixed. Total cost, about $800 plus the cost of the stupid DVD of “Stripes”.


10 posted on 12/26/2009 8:20:51 AM PST by BuffaloJack (Hoax and Chains)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GOPsterinMA

How do you “cut them off”. Library thieves don’t generally check things out in dribs and drabs over a long period of time. In general they check out a whole bunch of stuff all at once and never come back. Short of putting a cap on the dollar value everybody can check out you can’t really cut these guys off, by the time you know they’re a problem it’s too late.


11 posted on 12/26/2009 8:20:57 AM PST by discostu (The Bluebird of Happiness long absent from his life, Ned is visited by the Chicken of Depression)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: discostu

*How do you “cut them off”. Library thieves don’t generally check things out in dribs and drabs over a long period of time. In general they check out a whole bunch of stuff all at once and never come back. Short of putting a cap on the dollar value everybody can check out you can’t really cut these guys off, by the time you know they’re a problem it’s too late.*

It’s odd, isn’t it? Freepers generally want the death penalty for every other crime committed in America, but in this instance—since the crime was committed against a function of a local government—freepers turn into mushy liberals and argue that the criminals should have been somehow stopped before they committed their crime. Utterly ridiculous.

Look, people, when you get a library card you are explicitly told that if you don’t behave in a certain way there will be financial repercussions—usually you have to sign your name to that. If you can’t hold up that end of the bargain, don’t borrow the materials.

I can almost guarantee that the people who stole the taxpayers’ property in this instance are deadbeats, too, which are usually a Freeper’s favorite target. Interesting to see that any function of any government ranks below petty deadbeats in some Freepers’ eyes.

The fewer fines that libraries recoup, the more taxes they try to take to replace these items—consider that.


12 posted on 12/26/2009 8:29:47 AM PST by j-damn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: oh8eleven

I have never watched Seinfeld - not one minute of it.


13 posted on 12/26/2009 8:39:57 AM PST by GOPsterinMA (Never bring a snowball to a gun fight.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: discostu

“Short of putting a cap on the dollar value everybody can check out”

That’s a great idea! There’s the solution.


14 posted on 12/26/2009 8:42:11 AM PST by GOPsterinMA (Never bring a snowball to a gun fight.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: BuffaloJack
This story confirms my paranoia about using a library drop box.

Mother of God - what a horrible, horrible ordeal! You couldn't find anyone along the way that could have ended this (city councilor, state rep, mayor, etc.)?

What state was this in?

WOW!!!

15 posted on 12/26/2009 9:01:55 AM PST by GOPsterinMA (Never bring a snowball to a gun fight.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: GOPsterinMA

Libraries need to have memberships like a Costco. If you don’t return the goodies and pay the fines in time, you lose the membership.


16 posted on 12/26/2009 9:23:27 AM PST by proudpapa (Obama - Worst One Ever!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: proudpapa

They do have membership. It’s called a library card. If you don’t return items they will put a Stop on your card.


17 posted on 12/26/2009 9:26:03 AM PST by Borges
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Borges

Unlike a Costco, a library card is free.

I would charge $30 per adult library card and $10 for kids...or $50 for a family card.

At the end of the year all fines and missing items must be accounted for before the “card” is reactivated.

Problem solved.


18 posted on 12/26/2009 9:32:20 AM PST by proudpapa (Obama - Worst One Ever!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: proudpapa

Fantastic idea! Someone else also suggested capping (in $ value) how much you could take out.


19 posted on 12/26/2009 9:32:20 AM PST by GOPsterinMA (Never bring a snowball to a gun fight.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: j-damn
The fewer fines that libraries recoup, the more taxes they try to take to replace these items—consider that.

The simple solution is to dissolve public libraries. They are useless nowadays. One can find information on the Internet in less than a few seconds. It takes one an hour to go the library, look up a holding, and check it out. I cringe everytime talk comes up about modernizing out library. Half the cost will go to meeting disability access laws - more ramps, elevators, and short stacks that can be reached from a wheelchair meaning fewer books per square foot of floor area.

20 posted on 12/26/2009 9:49:18 AM PST by LoneRangerMassachusetts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: BuffaloJack
Your daughter learned this the hard way but you should never use a library drop box, especially for non-book items like DVDs, CDs, etc. Too easy for the DVD to fall out of the case.

You also need to be careful checking those items out. One time, I borrowed an opera on 3 CDs. When I got home, one of the CDs was missing out of the case. Naturally the library expected me to replace it for them and operas on CD aren't cheap - it costed me almost $50 from Amazon.com to replace the entire set as it is impossible to buy just one of the CDs separately.

However, the library has always been reasonable with me with regard to replacing lost or damaged materials. So♠ long as I replace the item, they never try to get additional fines or damages out of me.

It sounds like what the library put your daughter through was totally unreasonable. Either she's not telling you the whole story or the people running that library are complete knuckleheads. I'd call Town Hall and write a letter to the editor of the local newspaper about it.

21 posted on 12/26/2009 9:51:59 AM PST by SamAdams76 (I am 79 days away from outliving Jim Jones)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: LoneRangerMassachusetts
The simple solution is to dissolve public libraries. They are useless nowadays. One can find information on the Internet in less than a few seconds.

I totally disagree with that. Yes, the Internet has made it much easier to do research at home but the local libraries still have a huge trove of materials that just can't be found on the Internet - especially regarding research on a local level.

Also, unless a book is in the public domain, you are simply not going to be able to download it over the Internet and even if you wanted to buy it, there are many thousands of titles out of print that you can only find in a library.

I would agree that public libraries have gotten away from their main purpose which is to give citizens access to educational materials that otherwise would only be available to those that could afford it. I do NOT believe that the purpose of a public library is to provide entertainment such as videogames, movies and pop music.

That is not to say that libraries shouldn't offer any multimedia items at all. I can see documentaries on DVD of the Civil War for example, but I just don't see how lending out DVD copies of "Weekend At Bernie's" or "Porky's Revenge" do anything to educate the public. Ditto for music, I can see the symphonies of Beethoven being offered by public libraries but Britney Spears Greatest Hits? I don't think so.

22 posted on 12/26/2009 10:06:25 AM PST by SamAdams76 (I am 79 days away from outliving Jim Jones)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: GOPsterinMA

Sounds good all the way up until you want to check out a B&T leased book, those things come with a hefty price tag for the library. And they’re best sellers, so there’s a really good chance you’ll want 1 or more B&Ts and there goes your allotment.


23 posted on 12/26/2009 11:24:53 AM PST by discostu (The Bluebird of Happiness long absent from his life, Ned is visited by the Chicken of Depression)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: GOPsterinMA

You’ve missed some very funny shows.


24 posted on 12/26/2009 11:42:49 AM PST by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Balding_Eagle

I guess so.


25 posted on 12/26/2009 11:43:59 AM PST by GOPsterinMA (Never bring a snowball to a gun fight.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: pnh102

One of my favorite Seinfeld episodes EVER!


26 posted on 12/26/2009 11:59:52 AM PST by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76
I totally disagree with that. Yes, the Internet has made it much easier to do research at home but the local libraries still have a huge trove of materials that just can't be found on the Internet - especially regarding research on a local level.

Try Free Libraries. We have them in Massachusetts. They are founded by the private sector, usually an industrialist who did well and wants to pay the community back. Financially, they are better managed than the public libraries. I think the public ones are staffed with communists.

27 posted on 12/26/2009 3:09:56 PM PST by LoneRangerMassachusetts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: LoneRangerMassachusetts

Interesting. I will check one out, do you know of any north of Boston?


28 posted on 12/26/2009 3:45:07 PM PST by SamAdams76 (I am 79 days away from outliving Jim Jones)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: LoneRangerMassachusetts

*The simple solution is to dissolve public libraries. They are useless nowadays.*

That’s the simple-minded solution. Your local library must suck.

*One can find information on the Internet in less than a few seconds.*

Some can, some can’t. Ever try to get a child to learn to read by using the internet?

*It takes one an hour to go the library, look up a holding, and check it out.*

Doesn’t your library have e-books?

*I cringe everytime talk comes up about modernizing out library. Half the cost will go to meeting disability access laws - more ramps, elevators, and short stacks that can be reached from a wheelchair meaning fewer books per square foot of floor area. *

Those f*cking gimps! How dare they want to get into the library.

And we wonder where conservatives get their reputations?


29 posted on 12/26/2009 6:30:21 PM PST by j-damn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: proudpapa

*Unlike a Costco, a library card is free.

I would charge $30 per adult library card and $10 for kids...or $50 for a family card.*

Your very existence as a taxpayer in the locality in which the library is formed is your membership fee...and as far as “investments” go, the return on libraries is phenomenal. Instead of building stadium upon stadium for millionaires to enjoy 8 or 82 times per year, build one library per zip code and staff it with people who know what they are doing. A well-educated populace would result in less liberals.


30 posted on 12/26/2009 6:58:44 PM PST by j-damn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: SamAdams76
Interesting. I will check one out, do you know of any north of Boston?

Here is a link to all Massachusetts libraries. It includes free libraries. You can tell a free library because it uses the word free in its name.

Massachusetts libraries

It looks rather bleak for free libraries north of Boston. Most free libraries are westward.

31 posted on 12/26/2009 8:08:11 PM PST by LoneRangerMassachusetts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: GOPsterinMA

Nevada


32 posted on 12/27/2009 6:14:32 AM PST by BuffaloJack (Hoax and Chains)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson