Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kickin' It Up a Notch to Retrieve Long Overdue Library Materials

This type of story is catnip to the media and does nothing to enhance the image of libraries.

Link to March 11 The Raw Story article, "The book police are coming to get you". 

ExcerptABC News reports that Littleton is by no means the only city that has taken to issuing summonses for missing library materials. "Similar arrests and warrants have been reported in Washington state, Iowa and Texas," it states.

In Hanson's case, the arrest was for failure to appear, not for theft. The city of Littleton says it sent Hanson repeated notices in the mail and left phone messages for him, requesting that he return the DVD. Hanson says he failed to return it because he accidentally packed it while moving last fall. The move, he says, is why he didn't receive the library's messages.

Because he never received notice of the summons, the arrest was "a clear violation of his right to due process,” Hanson's father, Allen Hanson, said.

KMGH in Denver reports that the arrest cost Hanson's family $460 in all -- $200 for bail, $200 to get his car out of the impound lot, and $60 for court costs. The city says it will reimburse the Hansons, and Littleton Mayor Doug Clark has announced a change in the city's policy, saying that "we're not going to arrest people who don't return $30 DVDs."

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