Losing your library card could cost you

library books shelves

Maria Johnson got an e-mail from an Erie County library official informing her that the 14 Blu-ray movies she and her daughter, Krystal, had checked out were coming due.

Johnson was given a choice: return the discs or buy them at a cost of well over $400. But she says she and her daughter haven’t gone to the library in years.

“I was upset. I didn’t know why I received the e-mail. [Krystal] said, ‘I don’t go to the library.’ And I said, ‘Well where’s your library card?’ And she didn’t know,” Maria said.

Krystal says it’s been years since she even saw her library card. And what’s more, the Johnsons don’t even own a Blu-ray player to watch the movies.

Maria and Krystal went to the libraries where the movies had been checked out, the Riverside and Kenmore branches, and eventually the problem got worked out.

Maria says library officials assured her she would not have to pay the bill, but she said, “I just got another bill yesterday, so I’m hoping it is clarified.”

Director for the Buffalo and Erie County Libraries Mary Jean Jakubowski couldn’t comment on the Johnsons’ library card dilemma but did says cardholders need to give their library cards just as much attention as their credit and debit cards – or it could cost you.

“It happens from time to time,” Jakubowski said. “Make sure that you remember to report your library card lost or stolen. You are responsible for what’s on that card. We know we’re not always the first thing you’re going to think of, but we always want to hear from you.”

If your card is lost or stolen, library officials can block your account so it can’t be misused. If you don’t find the card, then they will issue you a new one.

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