Author Topic: Library Book Fine  (Read 564 times)

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Library Book Fine
« on: June 14, 2014, 04:37:34 PM »
This is a story from the Times about an old guy who ran up a potentially huge fine for the return of a library book.  Fortunately he had borrowed it from Liverpool University so common sense prevailed. Had he borrowed it from the municipal library then no doubt he would have been served with an ASBO and had his house confiscated.

A former student has returned a book to his university library 61 years after he took it out, having built up a fine of £4,510.
Ron Webster, 91, was a postgraduate student and research assistant at the University of Liverpool when he borrowed AR Radcliffe-Brown’s Structure and Function in Primitive Society in 1953. The student still had it when he was invited to London to continue his research.
It was only recently, when encouraged to thin out his substantial library, that Mr Webster discovered his oversight — and the possibility of being faced with a very large fine. Mr Webster had graduated from the university in the late 1940s, and when he was taken on a trip to visit some of his old Liverpool haunts by his son-in-law, Rick Walker, their itinerary included a stop at the university’s Sydney Jones Library to return the overdue book.
Mr Walker said: “Ron had been warned very firmly by the friends he plays cards with at the local pub that he would be landed with an enormous fine and feel the full force of the law.”
Fortunately for Mr Webster, the reception he received was very different.
Phil Sykes, the university librarian, said: “The staff were amazed. They called me and said you’ve got to come down. When I came down they were sat with him having a cup of tea and I said, ‘I believe I’ve got a disciplinary issue to deal with’.
“Of course, I cannot condone the late return of books but I remitted the fine of £4,510 on the condition that Mr Webster agreed, henceforth, to live an exemplary life and return all his books on time.”
The £4,510 was calculated on the basis of the present charge of 20p per day for the late return of books.
Mr Webster borrowed the book because it covered the anthropology of “joking relationships” between different tribes — research that was to prove invaluable when he became an industrial relations manager for Ford.
We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out. Churchill
 

 



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