[Michlib-l] Question about Parents with Fines Signing for Child's Card

Nancy Studebaker director at nileslibrary.net
Wed Feb 19 18:57:04 EST 2014

My board thinks it might be a good idea to not give library cards to
children if their parents have fines.  (Or at least not let the parent with
fines be the one who signs for the card.)

We know that adult patrons who have fines on their cards quickly figure out
the way around this is to get a card for their child and check out
materials for themselves (the parent) on this fresh, new no-fines card.

To clarify, we aren't talking about not letting a child check-out because
the parent has fines, this would only resolve the one-time problem of a
child getting a card when the signing "responsible" parent/guardian has

On the one hand, it feels wrong to deny a card to a child because his
parent/guardian is irresponsible.  On the other hand, allowing someone we
*know* to be irresponsible sign as the "responsible" person seems foolish.

Obviously, figuring out to what extent this is a problem is difficult.  We
think it happens once a month or so, but we couldn't really put a quantity
to it - and certainly not a dollar amount.

Does anyone else do this?  Any suggestions?  Any considerations I'm missing.

Nancy Studebaker, Director
Niles District Library
620 E Main
Niles, MI 49120
Phone 269 683 8545 x122
Fax 269 683 0075
Cell 269 277 0127
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