Speed Reads

Only in America

Only in America: Throwing the book at borrowers

The cops show up to collect a 5-year-old's overdue library books — and more in our collection of strange revelations about the nation

Overdue books are certainly a nuisance for librarians. But for one library in Charlton, Mass., they were grounds for a criminal inquiry. When two children's books were several months overdue, the library complained to the cops. After Sgt. Dan Dowd stopped by the home of Shannon Benoit, her 5-year-old daughter, who had borrowed the books, burst into tears and asked if she was going to jail. "Apparently, overdue library books are a misdemeanor," says Katherine Stone at Babble, "so get those overdue books in before it's too late!"