OLD TOWN, Maine — Old Town Public Library officials made 11 theft reports Wednesday afternoon in an effort to get back some items that are “long overdue,” Cindy Jennings, library director, said Thursday.
“They’re just getting a telephone call from the police encouraging them to return the materials,” she said.
The items that are delinquent from the local library include books, CDs, videos and audio books, Jennings said.
When people keep library items way beyond their return date, it becomes a Class D crime, Old Town police Sgt. Scott Casey said.
“Technically, it’s a crime,” he said, adding that it’s rare people are prosecuted for past-due library items. “We don’t want to see it get to that point.”
Library officials “just want to know if they’re going to be returned or if they need to be replaced,” Casey said.
The 11 theft reports were issued for library patrons who have “quite delinquent” accounts, Jennings said.
People need to understand that the “materials [at the library] are owned by all the taxpayers” and need to be returned so “other patrons are able to use the materials.”
While prosecution is rare, an Orono woman accused of stealing three books and one audiotape from the Old Town library in 1998 was ordered by a Penobscot County Superior Court judge and ordered to pay a $200 fine after admitting to violating the library’s policies and failing to appear in court.