Police the Strongarms of Librarians

24 Jan

If you live in Charlton, Massachusetts you better return your books on time or else you may experience a brief visit from local law enforcement. After amounting some late fees and a few letters asking you to return the books the police will make a visit to your house as they have done to some 14 houses in Charlton.

Although the police haven’t been arresting anyone, and as far as I can tell they’ve been nothing but polite. Some people feel that sending the fuzz out for library books is taking things a bit too far. I can’t help but agree with them. I understand that libraries need to get their books back in a timely manner, and many people have responded to the police presence by returning over due books, and a few that weren’t due back yet. I would like to know how many of them checked out more books.

I know if the police came to my door about library books, I would probably be too nervous to continue checking books out. It would just send me to my local bookstore the next time I needed books.


Posted by on January 24, 2012 in News


Tags: , , ,

8 responses to “Police the Strongarms of Librarians

  1. tricia linden

    January 24, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Very dangerous stuff here, delaying return of borrowed books. As we thought the police had their hands full tracking down speeding tickets. Always something new on the radar. Enjoy always, T

  2. Morgan Mussell

    January 25, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Ahh, to live in a place where overdue books number among the most serious crimes. And here I thought Mayberry was a fictional place in an old TV show.

  3. riggledo

    January 25, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    What an obsurd waste of the Police Department’s time! Their tax dollars at work…. I guess.

  4. Zombie Shakespeare

    January 25, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    If the police showed up at my door, that would definitely deter me from ever taking a book out of the library. I think libraries need to do more to stay relevant, not take actions that push people away. Yesterday I brought my daughter to pre-school story time at our local library and we were turned away because it was only for 3, 4, and 5 year olds (she’s 2 and a half). I think we’ll spend story time at home on a Kindle.

  5. bibliopirate

    January 26, 2012 at 5:10 am

    Sure thing, consider it deleted.

  6. fluffrick

    January 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    That is a remarkable story – I can just imagine the looks on the faces of British police officers if they were asked to perform the same kind of task.

    As some of the comments above suggest, this kind of action may certainly see overdue books returned but might well prompt people to say goodbye to their local libraries once and for all, which can’t be good for their future.

  7. LibriCritic

    January 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    yeah, i’ve never sent the police out to collect overdue books. the library just suspends the account if the fines get too high. is it bad that it made me chuckle though…

    • bibliopirate

      January 26, 2012 at 5:30 pm

      It made me chuckle too, I also know some libraries will use collection agencies if the fines get too high.


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