Overdue Library Book? You Get A Criminal Warrant!

At least in Jefferson County, you do! According to The News and Farmer of Jefferson County, criminal warrants are now going out to those with overdue books.

Patricia Edwards, the director of the county’s libraries, said this is not an attempt to punish or embarrass patrons of the library. “We just want our materials,” she said. “As a public institution, we are supposed to be responsible.”

All of this falls, if you were curious, under O.C.G.A. § 20-5-53, titled “Procedures following failure of library patron to return borrowed property.” In part, this code section states that if you fail to return the item within 15 days of proper notice,

[…]such person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.00 or imprisonment for not more than 30 days and shall be required to return such article or equipment or provide reimbursement for the replacement cost of such article or equipment.

Imagine what they do with a speeding ticket!


  1. Doug Deal says:

    A few years back, a friend of my wife got sent up the river or such an ordinence in Louisville (county seat of Jefferson County, so this is nothing new.

    Lending someone a library book should be just like lending someone a DVD, an extension of credit, and handled exclusively as a civil matter.

    Reason 1,256,924 not to ever do business with any form of government.

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