Got overdue library books? Did you know in MA it’s a crime? A 5-yr-old girl now does (or Why you should buy your child a Kindle)

On family in Charlton (according to CBS) had their door pounded upon by a police officer who was there to remind their 5-year-old daughter that she had TWO overdue library books!

A Charlton mom says her local library crossed the line when they sent police to collect her daughter’s overdue library books.

Her mom says the 5-year-old girl was so afraid that she burst into tears.

Wait a minute, why is a library sending police officers to remind people about overdue library books? Because in the state of  Massachusetts the “non-return of library books” is a crime! Yes, the NON-RETURN OF LIBRARY BOOKS is a crime and can lead to a police officer at your door. 

So in Charlton, they decided they would send a police officer door-to-door to let people know they had overdue library books. Charlton has $4,000 worth of fines they want collected.  Charlton Police Sergeant Dan Dowd was the “low man on the totem poll”.

 Even Sgt. Dowd admits he wasn’t real keen on it.

“Nobody wanted to, on this end to get involved in it,” says Sgt. Dowd. “But the library contacted us, and the chief delegated, and apparently I was one of the low men on the totem pole.”

But state law does outline a misdemeanor for such things, and police thought a friendly reminder might make a better impression and get better results than a cold summons to court.

Actually Sgt. Dowd, the 5-year-old girl, Hailey Benoit, who broke into tears and asked her mom if she was going to be arrested may have preferred to have her mommy deal with a letter or a court case.

It’s nice that all the police have the time to go around collecting library books in Charlton. I would consider moving to such a quiet town, but I’m allergic to police states.


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