Maine City Drops Case Against Woman Who Won't Return "Normal"

The showdown between the city and JoAn Karkos ended Friday even though Karkos failed to return a library book she has deemed obscene. Karkos will not be ordered to jail for violating a judge's orders. The city will not continue trying to wrest from her a copy of "It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health." There will be no national debate drawn to Lewiston based on the arrest of a 64-year-old grandmother. City leaders believe they made the right choice by choosing to drop the matter. Karkos, they say, still has to pay a $100 fine and cannot return to the library until she does so.

So can I assume I can go to the library and take whatever I want now?

Comments

Yay! The precedent has been set!

So to answer your question, Blake: Yes, you should be able to walk into the library in Lewiston and take whatever you want without fear of jail. If they didn't send one person to jail for the same crime, any defense attorney can argue that set a precedent and others should also be excused from jail.

As to no national debate being drawn to Lewiston over the arrest of a 64 year old grandmother, wow. I mean just wow. If they think this will end all debate they're either incredibly stupid or wonderfully naive. They took this from a simple legal matter to a complex legal issue by saying that it's okay to steal from the library.

I now look forward to getting some free rides on theft as I grow older. Apparently that's the key. Ya gotta be over 60. I hope that anyone else below 60 who may have been accused and convicted of stealing from this library sues the hell out of this town for age discrimination.

Some books contain the machinery required to create and sustain universes. Tycho (Jerry Holkins) @ Penny Arcade

OK, let any patron take any book for a hundred bucks.

What a fantastic revenue generator. Of course I would limit it to the circulating collection, people always tried to buy the old volumes of the postage stamp price guides.

Here are the steps
1) Allow patron to take book
2) Charge patron one hundred bucks
3) Replace book and profit eighty bucks

It's a shame the city started this and didn't follow through with it. It does look like they are running away with their tails between their legs. Sure, limited resources was mentioned and I'm sure they've been getting complaints from very angry taxpayers. Which they ultimately represent and if those taxpayers are unhappy with something, the city needs to respect that. Who cares what the national debate would have said?

If it goes to a judge ordering her to return the book, and she refuses, then they should follow through with the next step of this process. If they weren't prepared for the publicity, they obviously didn't understand the type of person she is. Instead of discussing things with the library director or attending board meetings to express her concerns, she checks the book out and keeps it and is vocal about it in the media. She's another 15-minute seeker.

I wonder why the fine is a hundred dollars. Is that cost of replacement and processing? Why so high?

legally, the library can only charge her up to $5 late fee and the replacement cost of the book, maybe $25, total.

I'm not sure what the $100 fine is for since the city dropped the case.

borrowing policy:
"Fines, Fees & Borrower Responsibilities
Fines for overdue adult or children’s entertainment movies are $1 per day, beginning on the first day overdue, to a maximum of $3 per movie. All other adult or teen materials, including movies classified as educational or documentary, are fined at the rate of $.10 per day after a two-week grace period, to a maximum of $5 per item. With the exception noted above, children’s materials are not fined.

As a library cardholder, you are responsible for all materials borrowed on your card.
You must pay charges for lost or damaged books and other materials, even if you loaned your card or library items to another person. Failure to return materials or to pay fines or other charges of $5 or more will result in the suspension of borrowing and computer privileges, and may result in legal action taken by the City."

Yep, pretty much the answer is yes. Walk into that library and take whatever you want. They won't do squat about it. Way to set precedent. Glad I am in academia, where if you pull that little stunt, you can kiss any chance of getting transcripts, a diploma, etc. good-bye. Oh, and when you try to get a state job, you can kiss that good bye too because you won't be passing the background check (yes, we report it to the powers that be too). Talk about one whimpy municipality.

Let me ask. Does her payment for the book and the shipping and handling being refused several times by the library have any effect on this matter?

-=-=-=-
http://www.SafeLibraries.org
http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/

Did she offer to do that? I didn't know that.

It's still stealing if you offer to pay.

Why doesn't this woman actually the courage of her convictions to say "This is what I did and I'll accept the punishment, because it is worth it to call attention to this great wrong."

Civil disobedience is noble. Publicity stunts are crass.

Yes, she offered to pay several times. I have a bunch of stories on this here (including LISNews's): http://delicious.com/plan2succeed/LewistonME

Here is a sample media report with her offer to pay:

LEWISTON - A Lewiston woman wants to keep local children from seeing an acclaimed sex education book, "It's Perfectly Normal." So she checked out copies from the Lewiston and Auburn public libraries. And she won't give them back. "Since I have been sufficiently horrified of the illustrations and the sexually graphic, amoral abnormal contents, I will not be returning the books," JoAn Karkos wrote the local libraries last month. A check for $20.95 accompanied each letter to cover the cost of the book. "This has never happened before," said Rick Speer, director of the Lewiston Public Library. "It is clearly theft."

Woman Keeps Sex-Ed Books | SunJournal.com

http://www.sunjournal.com/story/230033-3/LewistonAuburn/Woman_keeps_sexed_books/

-=-=-=-
http://www.SafeLibraries.org
http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/

It's still stealing. If I steal your mother's purse and then mail her a check to cover the costs I'm still a thief. She needs to be tried and convicted.

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