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Alabama Library to Enforce Jail Time for Overdue Books

Returning a book late at the local library usually gets you a scolding by the librarian, or maybe your permit revoked for repeat offenses, but failing to turn in a book on time at one Alabama library could actually land you in jail for 30 days.

With over $200,000 worth of overdue books to recuperate, the Athens-Limestone public library in Athens, Alabama, is taking extreme measures to deter patrons from returning borrowed books and DVDs way later than they should. Executive Director Paula Laurita announced that the library will be enforcing a new policy that includes fines of up to $100, a city jail sentence of 30 days, or possibly both. She added that the seemingly exaggerated rules were necessary to stop people from effectively stealing from taxpayers.

“We have too many outstanding books that haven’t been returned. People with several hundred dollars worth of library materials that are sitting at home,” Laurita told WAAY31. Sometimes we hear, ‘I lent my library card to my cousin’. I just want to ask, ‘Would you lend your cousin your credit card? If they go and get $700 worth of clothing and you’re responsible for the bill, would you do that?'”

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