Library uses police to collect overdue books from 5 year old girl

The Charlton Public Library in Massachusetts decided to go to extreme measures to get their overdue books back from delinquent patrons.  They decided to send in the police.

CBS Boston reported that two police officers visited the house of a five year old girl to let her mom know that she had two overdue books that needed to be returned or paid for.  The girl thought she was in big trouble and might be arrested.  She was understandably scared and in tears.  The mom thought the visit “was way overboard”.

The Charlton Public Library site has a statement on their homepage that includes “Sending out the police is a last resort effort to get back some of our most valuable items. The police visited 13 families whose outstanding balance totaled $2634.00 in library materials.”

Embarrassingly for both the library and the police, one of those patrons was a 5 year old girl with only two overdue books.  Being known as the library that sent the cops out to notify a 5 year old girl that she had two overdue books is definitely not a good way to start the new year.


  1. Erics says

    LOL! FAIL! For both library and police. Go fight some REAL crime. And maybe libraries should require a credit card system, where extremely over due materials can be charged to the card, and can be kept by the borrower. No wonder less and less people like to go to the library. Sheesh.