Crybaby of the Week and the case of the overdue library book

Some parents really don’t deserve the label.

Take this week’s Crybaby of the Week who is moaning because her daughter copped a library fine for an overdue library book.

Children can be liable for overdue library books – something 9-year-old Gabriella Harris found out the hard way.

The Shelly Park Primary School pupil took out a book on horses from Botany Library in East Auckland for a school project, and was hit with a $30 fine when it was returned two months overdue.

Her mother, Rochelle Harris, said she was shocked when told she would have to pay for the tardy return.

“We were in the middle of moving house and Gabriella had packed it away. When we found it we took it back, and they told us ‘Tough luck’.

“We always understood that if the child had the book out on a child’s library card then there wouldn’t be a fine. I was stunned.”

Stunned? Instead of paying the fine like a normal person would do, this crybaby ran off to the media to raise unholy hell.

Mrs Harris was told that because the book her daughter borrowed was from outside the children’s section, she would have to pay a fine.

“I think that’s crazy. If it was a historical romance or something like that then that’s not a problem, but the fact is that it was a reference book used for homework research.

“Kids should be being encouraged to take out library books, instead of just googling everything.”

The fine was eventually waived after some protesting, but Mrs Harris was told any future breaches would result in her having to pay.

“The manager was quite sympathetic, but they said this was our policy,” Mrs Harris said.

Auckland Council spokeswoman Liz Kirschberg said although child and teen items do not incur an overdue fee, fines for overdue books that are not classified as child or teen items are the responsibility of the child’s caregiver.

Fine waived because the whinging minger ran to the media; pathetic. Worse than pathetic, she has exposed her nine-year-old girl to the vagaries of Google and the internet all to waive a tiny and insignificant library fine…and, given the cost of houses in Botany, she could most certainly afford a few dollars of a fine.




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  • Charlie

    You should know that rules don’t apply to self entitled whinging precious dears

  • kayaker

    Consequences, mother. Consequences. The best lesson a child can learn.

  • john Doe

    Silly woman. Should have used the experience to teach the kid the law of consequence and trade the fine as a donation to the library. Some parents do my head in.

    • OneTrack

      She learnt the law of consequences. There aren’t any.

  • Odd Ball

    I would of added a $10 whinging fee to the fine.

  • Intrigued

    I’m appalled at this mother. She should be teaching her child there are consequences for being late. Always! And she thinks her position is justified because it was a “reference book” not some crappy romance book is even more galling. Has she not considered the fact that because that reference book was returned 2 months late that some other child might have been denied the opportunity to use that reference book for their school research project? Selfish and self-absorbed whingers.

  • Isherman

    The ODT probably deserve some pointed ridicule here too. My idea of a news organisation would have had them inform the precious wee poppet, that they are in the news business, overdue fees on a Library book hardly count as news insofar as nobody actually gives a rats, but no, instead of walking away laughing they indulged her, and on that basis I’m not even sure which party is more desperately pathetic.

    • gander

      A child in East Auckland cops a library fine for an overdue book and this is news in Dunedin?

  • Martin

    I enjoy paying library fines. I pretend it’s user-pays rather than people who don’t use the library paying for my reading.

  • SlightlyStrange

    We missed returns on our preschoolers books by a day over a long weekend. Went to get new books out this morning and were prepared to pay if there were any fines (I was fairly sure the answer would be no, but we were late, so fair is fair).
    Overdue is overdue.

  • Dan

    Besides the obvious that this woman desrves CBOTW, the other thing is that puzzles me is having the complication of exemption for child/teen cards AND children’s section. Why not just have one or the other? Or why have one at all?

    If the library in this instance has any brains, it should have demanded the fine AND cut up the child’s card and that of her mother.

    Edit: Spilling and punktuayson. ;/

  • XCIA

    A book is a book, is a book. Why are these fools differentiating – every time a book is overdue, it could depriving someone else who needs it. If the overdue people are ratepayers, the library should purchase another book and add the cost to their rates bill including the collection fees.

  • MaryLou

    Pathetic. We just had a rip-roarer here, daughter had 6 books overdue for about the same amount of time, and I didn’t know, until I got a letter in the mail saying she owed around $200 in overdue fines. You can imagine the reaction, considering her school is right beside the public library. And no – the reaction was not to run to the media, instead she learnt the art of eating humble pie, negotiating to get the fine reduced, and handing over some of her own hard earned cash. And she had to do it alone.

    Lesson learnt!

  • Usaywot

    Well I’m outraged that the library waived the fine.

    • Carl

      I’d like to know if they waived the fine and she still went to the media. What a silly women.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Borrow anything, it must be back on the agreed date. No exceptions. The Library set a bad example by waiving the fine

  • Rick H

    The library “fines” sure have gone through the roof since tha last time I had to pay one.
    It was only 10 cents then.

  • exactchange

    Most libraries are hooked up with Library Elf these days, which sends a ‘coming due’ email 3 days prior.

  • Oh Please

    A selfish arrogant woman who is bringing up a selfish arrogant child. And so the wheels turn…