Working Mom Faces Possible Jail Time Over Late Library Books

There’s almost no better feeling in the workplace than receiving a promotion—but this all came crashing down for Melinda Sanders Jones. You see, her boss ran a background check, a requirement needed before promoting her, only to discover a warrant was out for her arrest. The crime? Two late library books.

Of all the things working moms don’t have time for, jail for belated books is definitely on that list. And it’s not like the late books weren’t already on her radar. When the Michigan mom of five tried to use a printer at her local library a few months ago, she got a notice she was banned from the services. It turned out she was late on returning “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and “Night” from back in 2017—but local station WILX reports that she DID quickly find and return them.

So while she did expect a hefty fine for the significantly late books, in no way was she expecting a warrant for her arrest. In fact, she didn’t believe it.

However, Melinda faces a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail and a fine of $500 for failure to return rental property. Though she was already fingerprinted and seen in front of a judge, she awaits her next court date, Nov. 7, to see if her charges will be dropped. Worse yet, she’s unable to work until the case is settled.

The Charlotte Library doesn’t comment on individual cases, but it stated that for overdue book charges, late notices are sent after a few weeks, then a month, three months, and again at four months. Melinda said she never got them because she moved frequently during the time period. It’s no surprise in the slightest that this busy mom put returning the two books on the back burner.

This mama has enough on her plate. All we have to say is seriously, two books equals jail time? Melinda doesn’t believe it should be a criminal charge and neither do we.