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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Overdue stories of the month
Keywords Library users, Public libraries, Police
Twenty-four-year-old Beverly Goldman was arrested 13 January for failing to appear in court after she was charged with not returning several children's books and videotapes she had checked out more than 16 months ago from Clearwater (Fla.) Public Library (CPL). Police allowed Goldman, who is seven months pregnant, to see her five- and six-year-olds off to school before she was taken into custody. By the time friends and relatives posted bail, she had already spent eight hours in jail. The library dropped charges after Goldman's family promised to pay the $127.86 fine. Six days earlier former CPL-area resident Jeremy Soder, 29, was jailed briefly for failing to return $80 worth of long-overdue materials to the library. He subsequently returned the items. Beverly Goldman's lawyers plan to challenge the law that allowed the arrests. Publicity, including Soder and Goldman's appearance on NBC's The Today Show has resulted in hundreds of overdue items returned to CPL.
At the Burlingame (Calif.) Public Library, a retired staff member has been charged with stealing close to $130,000 in overdue fines from the library over a period of four years. Prosecutors believe that Judith A. Gladysz, whose duties included transferring overdue fines to the city, pocketed the money in $20 bills. Records show that during the four years in question not a single $20 bill was delivered, and investigators allege that she kept them and turned over only smaller denominations. A fellow staff member tipped off the authorities after finding an envelope full of cash in her desk. According to bank records, she made many large deposits, yet the money has since disappeared.
Eileen FitzsimonsFitzsimons Editorial Services