“A five-year-old girl from Charlton, Mass. burst into tears after a local library sent Police Sergeant Dan Dowd to her house to retrieve the child’s two overdue library books, CBS Boston reported.”

“I thought it was way overboard,” the girl’s mother, Shannon Benoit, said. “I closed my door, I looked at my daughter and she started crying.”

Seemed that it was just another town “bullying” its citizens. However, there was more to the story and questions the motives of the initial CBS report and editing.

A report published by The Worcester Telegram & Gazette, clarified that the 5 year old’s children’s books weren’t in contention, but a $100 audio book which her father had borrowed. The audio book was overdue since April 2011.  At the time of the article, 13 other families in the area were also visited by the police. The total overdue from the ‘offenders’ was $2,634, in library materials.

Library Director Cheryl Hansen said in the follow up reporting, that she’d been called “a f-ing moron, an idiot, a Nazi, a communist”.

The director defended the procedure. “Sending out the police is a last-resort effort to get back some of our most valuable materials,” she said.

Asked why the police action? Ms. Hansen answered, “I think this is the friendlier, gentler way in my opinion. It’s too bad that that is what it takes but it’s worked; we’ve gotten materials back.”

The library’s right to unreturned material is protected by state law, and when the value exceeds $250, retention of the items is a felony.

Other extreme cases of Library Justice:

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