Unreturned library books can often mean jail time

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  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 26, 2013 8:22 a.m.


    " Books don't HAVE to be replaced, after all, ..."

    No, and we don't HAVE to have libraries, either, but we'd sure raise a fuss if the city decided to close them in the interest of economy. Books, particularly reference books, have gotten a lot more expensive recently, as was pointed out in a recent article on the cost of textbooks while library budgets have stayed about the same. If someone took an item from the city recreational center worth, let's say, ninety dollars and didn't return it, no one would raise an eyebrow when the police showed up to deal with it. Should the fact that the item is a book and not a football helmet make any difference when it's public property?

    The cost of prosecution and incarceration are never factored into any other offenses, so what makes a library any different? Prosecuting and jailing someone who steals three dollars worth of stuff from K-Mart costs a lot more than the loss, too. No one is saying to let that person go because it'll save tax dollars.

  • nmjim SANDIA PARK, NM
    Dec. 26, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    Hard to believe this. Arrest and prosecution most assuredly cost much more than the missing books are worth. Books don't HAVE to be replaced, after all, so tight budgets are no excuse for exercising heavy handed authority. Makes as much sense as shutting down kids' lemonade stands and unlicensed mistletoe operations. Never underestimate the reach of a petty bureaucrat.

  • Million Bluffdale, UT
    Dec. 26, 2013 6:44 a.m.

    Failing to return items to the library just shows who the people are who are careless or incompetent and who failed to learn responsibility when they were young. Obviously the law tries to teach responsibility later on in life, but for some people it comes too late.

  • RDLV Costa Rica, 00
    Dec. 25, 2013 9:41 p.m.

    What are you in for?
    Armed robbery.
    And what about you?
    First degree murder.

    How about yourself?
    I misplaced a library book.