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Would you confront the library about book damage fee?

My 7yo's library card is connected to my email, so today I got an email addressed to her stating that a book she returned was damaged. The pages had been wet and were now warped. She has to pay $11.99, and if she pays it within 30 days she can keep the book. $12 is not a lot of money, I know. I'm just really ticked because I really don't think she was the one who damaged it. My daughter is very careful with books. And I'm constantly surprised by the condition of items we check out. I don't know how many times I've checked out a DVD only to return it unwatched because it wouldn't play. I understood when they charged us for a brand new hard cover that our dog had chewed the corner of, but this one was older and many in the series are in bad shape. I just have no idea how to broach the subject with them, or how to handle it.

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Asked by Star76 at 3:14 PM on Dec. 2, 2008 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (10)
  • I'd dispute it. I'd tell them that the book was in that condition when I checked it out, if you really believe that. That's the problem I have with the library, is they charge you for damage and you have no way to prove you didn't do it. But, I'd fight it.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 3:22 PM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • You could ask them if anyone else checked it out in between the time that your daughter returned it and the time the damage was noticed. In that case, they can't charge you because they can't say for sure who damaged it. If she were my daughter, I would ask her to be honest and tell me if there was an accident with the book that she had not told me about before. [We stress that honesty is important, and the punishment for lying is worse than for any other misbehavior in our house.] If these steps don't lead to an answer, then it is the librarian's word against your daughter's, and I would'nt envy you that situation!

    Answer by yarnjunkie at 3:25 PM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • I'd go in and talk to them politely about it face to face and tell them that the book was in that condition when you borrowed it. The fact that you paid when you really did damage the book should work in your favor.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 3:29 PM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • I would dispute it It's not fair that they are accusing your daughter of something she didn't do.

    Answer by floristmom at 3:32 PM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • Yeah, I really just want to talk to them about it, but I'm too chicken. I asked dd and she said she did not spill anything on it, so, IDK.

    Answer by Star76 at 3:56 PM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • That's a toughie. I'm not good with that sort of confrontation. But I would take her with you to look at the book to see if she might remember doing it by accident or if it was there before and then go from there.

    Answer by saralouise at 4:32 PM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • Ummmm I guess they have the fees for a reason and I'd probably just pay it UNLESS I KNEW my kid did not do the damage to it!!

    Answer by Maddiesmommy123 at 8:12 PM on Dec. 2, 2008

  • Pay. It doesn't matter if she damaged the book, the important lesson here is that while you have possession of something, especially if it doesn't belong to you, you still have responsibility of what happens to it.


    Answer by McGregor at 10:12 AM on Dec. 4, 2008

  • So my kid should have to pay for something someone else did? I'm saying I believe the book was in that condition when we checked it out, previous to our possession of the book. We are responsible for things that are borrowed. If you re read the post you will see that I had no problem paying the fine when I knew it was our mistake that resulted in a book getting damaged. What about the family that did damage the book what lesson are they learning?

    Answer by Star76 at 2:47 PM on Dec. 4, 2008

  • I had a similar issue with the local library too. I got a notification that I didnt' return a movie and a book. I called them, spoke with someone at the front desk, told her that I returned both items with a bunch of other things, gave her the date, then she took the fines off our account.
    Call them, explain the situation, and they shouldn't have any problem with taking it off.

    Answer by jenniferoakes at 2:51 PM on Dec. 18, 2008

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