A library is actually threatening to send people to jail for overdue books and we’re now afraid

Get ready to start looking for all of the library books you’ve accidentally claimed as your own. A library in Athens, Alabama is cracking down on people who aren’t returning things on time.

It’s time to start looking for your library card.


According to the News Courier, the Athens–Limestone Public Library has about $200,000 worth of overdue items, and they’ve had enough. They want their stuff back, or else Orange is the New Black will be a reality instead of your favorite Netflix show.

The library is reportedly going to enforce a city ordinance that says it’s against the law to “fail or refuse to return” borrowed items. According to the publication, violating the ordinance can result with a fine up to $100 and/or 30 days behind bars.

“The taxpayers expect us to protect their investment,” the Athens–Limestone Library director Paula Laurita told the Courier. “We make every effort to be good stewards of public funds.”


Laurita pointed out that she hears the same excuse all the time and compares the situation to racking up a hefty credit card bill.

“Sometimes we hear, ‘I lent my library card to my cousin.’ I just want to ask, ‘Would you lend your cousing your credit card?’” She continued, “If they go and get $700 worth of clothing and you’re responsible for the bill, would you do that?’”

And while the library wants people to understand that returning books is a necessity and failing do to so is a serious matter, they don’t want take every violator to jail.


The Courier reports that the library won’t go after children because we all know they barely remember to turn in homework. The library is reportedly trying to do everything in its power to get their materials back without having to call the po–po.


Luckily, the library will send you a reminder about your materials via text or email. Even if you ignore those messages, they’ll send you a certified letter and you’ll have 10 days to get your items together and everything settled.

If that still doesn’t work, then a court summons will be issued. Ignoring that could be scary since you’ll have to pay a fine and possibly wear an orange jumpsuit. Goodbye comfortable bed, hello prison.

So if you plan on checking out Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, make sure you remember the return date, or else you’ll need to find yourself a “Get out of jail free card.”

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