MIDDLETOWN, Ohio - Sarah Cheney goes to the MidPointe Library in Middletown once a week with her two children. She was shocked to hear about James Slone and Dereck Archer's crimes.
"It feels horrible," Cheney said. "The library is a good place for families and for someone to steal... that's bad. We use this place a lot it's a good asset for the community and they've made a lot of improvements and it's just horrible that somebody would do it."
Slone checked out 148 items from the library and Archer checked out 98 items. The Middletown Court charged them both on June 15 with petty theft after all of the books they borrowed were found damaged in their home after trying to remove the library's labeling.
"It's free to begin with is," said Cheney. "All you have to do is get a card. It's no hassle so I don't understand why someone would take it."
Cari Hillman, the library's public relations manager says when people take materials from the library, they're stealing from the community.
"They're stealing from the public and it's a shame," said Hillman.
Hillman says a very limited amount of people choose to abuse these policies. "We certainly don't intend to change our policies because a few people couldn't adhere to the rules," Hillman said. Patrons are allowed to check out 150 items at a time.
"This is a very, very rare occurrence," said Hillman. "I can't stress that enough. Most of our patrons, they love this library. They love the system. They love the resources we're able to provide to them. And so this is not at all something that is expected and certainly something that is not tolerated."
Slone owes the library over $3,344.86 in fines and fees. And Archer, owes them $2,043.74.
"We're in the process of updating our security measures," said Hillman. "We're tagging every single item we have with new RFID tags so actual theft from the library will be very limited."
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