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March 2010, Week 3


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"Truex, Eleanor" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Truex, Eleanor
Mon, 15 Mar 2010 16:19:27 -0500
text/plain (91 lines)
 It would seem that the principle of "it's ok if and when I do it, but no others" is in play here. I never racked up fines in the library UNTIL I went to grad school and worked as a page (very PT). And then, for some reason (probably I felt entitled), I couldn't get the books back on time--even if the due date fell on a day I was scheduled to work at the library(!). Then again, the steepest fine I got was for $5. I was wrong to incur the fines and I did pay them, although the women at the circ desk said I didn't have to (I suppose the job of page has few perks!). 

Was it extreme to call the cops and handcuff this guy? Sure--and I think the handcuffs were a bit over the top. But he owed the library (and by extension his community) quite a bit of money and the items he never returned. The sad thing is that it had to get to this point. IMO, something should have been done to prevent having to go to this extreme, but it is good that the extreme exists.

Eleanor Truex
Saint Joseph Medical Library
Chicago, IL

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Warner, Kathleen M
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2010 4:08 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: CHAT: RE: Don't shoot, I'll return it

Oh, so you're saying that bullying library staff is OK????

Kathleen M. (Kitty) Warner, MLS, M.Ed.
Manager, Health Sciences Library
Hennepin County Medical Center
701 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55415
(612) 873-2714

-----Original Message-----
From: Medical Libraries Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Patricia Warner
Sent: Monday, March 15, 2010 4:05 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: CHAT: RE: Don't shoot, I'll return it

I remember years ago in graduate school returning books I was using for my thesis.  I waited to the very last moment possible and had checked them out as many times as they would let me.  It was 10 p.m. in downtown New Orleans and I walked in with my books and my German Shepherd.  No one was going to give me a fine for being late and no one was going to bother with me and "Chea".  No one did.

Patricia "Pat" Warner, MLIS
Hospital Librarian/CME Coordinator
Memorial Hospital Gulfport
P.O. Box 1810
Gulfport, MS  39502
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>>> "Rowan, Elisabeth" <[log in to unmask]> 3/15/2010 10:58 AM >>>
As someone who over her life has racked up a lot of fines (mostly in
college, but in the public system too)--but who always brought the
materials in, just not on time, my first thought was oh, no, I'd so be
in that mug shot! And I was mostly amused despite that, yet cringing
over the possible public relations implications.

But when it comes down to it, the libraries are fighting the 'it's just
a book, who cares?' attitude that people have with library materials, a
disrespect aimed more at the libraries than for the material itself.  If
the man shoplifted a $30 DVD from a _store_, and then failed to appear
at court, he'd be arrested, too. What makes this any different, really?
Putting someone in collections gets the attention of some, but others
just chuck the notices.  Telling them the law is becoming involved is a
different matter.  In the cases where they went to court, I'm sure
returning the book and paying the fine got things dismissed.  It was his
failure to appear after numerous attempts to contact him failed that
landed him in jail--and that failed because he had not updated his
contact information (something I think public libraries should require
at least yearly).

Now, I do think the library should inform patrons of the possibility,
such as when they initially sign up for their card or through signage.

In the case of medical libraries, many of our materials cost over $300,
which in my jurisdiction would be a felony.  I think residents and
others who abscond would pay more attention if that were the case.  In
the era of background checks, that can be pretty important.

Just my 2 cents' worth.

Elisabeth E. Rowan, MSLS, Medical Librarian
Shriners Hospital for Children, 1900 Richmond Road
Lexington, KY  40502-1238 USA Docline: KYUSSR
vox 859.266.2101 x 1299 - fax 859.268.5636 - email [log in to unmask] 
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