Written by IainB
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Friday, 13 January 2012

image for Isle of Wight News - Librarian fined over overdue books
Gemma Paddlworth will not be returning her first edition Dickens

Librarian, Gemma Paddlworth, of Ryde has been fined nearly three thousand pounds in late fees for overdue library books.

"It's quite embarrassing," said Gemma, 34 a single mother. "I'm the only librarian at Ryde Library, so when I discovered that I had three library books at home that I'd completely forgotten about, I brought them back in."

When Gemma booked the books back in she was horrified to discover just how overdue they were.

"According to the system, I'd taken them out when I became the librarian, nearly ten years ago," she said. "This was about ten years before we introduced the computerised system, so I wasn't getting the automatic reminder about overdue books."

Even with the staff discount for overdue library items, Gemma still has a stiff fine to pay.

"We applaud Gemma's honesty," said Isle of White Head of Libraries, Lionel Mastiff. "Some librarians may have been tempted to wright the books off as lost, and also lost the fact of who had the book."

Lionel, 56 of Newport, does not plan on going easy on Gemma just because she is a loyal member of staff with a strong honest streak.

"We will be making an example of Gemma and she will be paying the full fine," said Lionel. "The library budget has been tight for a number of years now, and this fine will help pay for the last of the Harry Potter books that a lot of people have been requesting. We may even remove the staff discount."

Gemma doesn't believe that Lionel is living in the real world.

"Making an example of me will not encourage other librarians to return overdue books," she said. "It will be cheaper for them to just keep the book for ever. That's what I'll be doing with the other five books I have had checked out for ten years."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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