Some are outraged over what they are calling the abuse of police and governmental power after a 4-year-old was located by local authorities for not returning overdue library books.
Katelyn Jageman was contacted by Freeport police when she failed to return overdue library books that had been due October 19, 2011. The Philadelphia library stated that it had made several attempts to track down the books and have them returned, but those were unsuccessful. The librarian then decided to turn the matter over to the police.
"It's a rare incident, but it does occur," said Donna Michael, President of the Freeport Area Library Board.
After being contacted by police, the young girl's mother returned the books and paid the $81.60 late fee. Some argued that the situation was outrageous and an extreme waste of police force.
"WHY, pray tell, didn't the librarian get up off her/his arse & make a call to the kid's home to retrieve the books? It's NOT the job of a police officer to enforce the LIBRARY'S rules----it's the job of the library to do so," Mary Berg asserted on the CBS blog.
"This is not about the parents. This is not about the stupidity of using vital police services for a ridiculously trivial matter. This is about the law and government intrusion," Frank Lee argued. "If you didn't pay your credit card, if you didn't pay your doctor bill, if you didn't pay the local department store, they could not send the police to make a 'courtesy' call. There are civil remedies for debts. Why is the library given collection priveleges [sic] to use the power of the police when the same is not afforded to Blockbuster when you don't return a movie?"
The library retorted that it was not federally funded and thus relied on memberships, donations, and a secondhand shop to survive.
"We're here to serve the community and we try to do it as best we can, and all we really want is to have our library materials returned," said Michael.