Does anyone remember that episode of Seinfeld where the library police came after Jerry for not returning “Tropic of Capricorn?” Well, as it would turn out the library police do in reality exist, and they do make arrests. See what happened to a Wisconsin woman when she thought the library police were just sitcom fiction.
In Beloit, Wisconsin, a woman named Keely Givahn spent 6 days in jail for the offense of an overdue library book. After sending her several notices, they issued a citation. When Givahn was pulled over for a routine traffic stop, the officer saw the warrant for her arrest and took her in. Givahn says she was in the process of moving and didn’t receive the overdue notices. Since she couldn’t afford the fine, Givahn was kept in jail for 6 days.
On one side of this, you can kind of see that since this is a municipal fine, it has to be treated like one. But honestly, this is an overdue library book. Making a huge fine that could bring someone to jail is definitely not reasonable for something as trivial as an overdue library book. It’s really comical to think that something like a book could be taken so seriously and built up into a court order and jail time.