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What I have run into more than once is that the 
district has a policy that prohibits fines, or 
prohibits not checking out materials to those who 
have overdues or damaged materials unpaid 
for.  Often these policies incorrectly state that 
they are based on the education code, or use "the 
ed code says..." as their justification; but in 
any case, they are legal and do not violate the 
code as far as I can see.  The code does not 
specifically state that you MUST notify, only 
that after such notification is made, etc. etc.

I agree, fines don't do much.  Holding diplomas 
really helped with seniors (but the savvy ones 
realized that their transcripts were NOT held, so 
in reality, no harm was done), but other classes 
had no such hold.  I never found the magic 
bullet.  Phone calls and letters helped, and we 
used to hand deliver overdue notices if they were 
really long overdue instead of just sending them 
to the classrooms; but there were always ones who ignored our best efforts.

There was a nearby school district that used to 
not let students register for the next semester's 
classes unless all debts were paid, and that 
included lost textbooks and library books.  That 
worked really well in all grades at the secondary 
level, but then a parent sued......

At 01:37 PM 1/26/2008, you wrote:
>DeAnn, Leslie, Ron and others:
>This section of the Ed Code precedes Williams. I 
>don't think it is altered by Williams. If it is, 
>I'm sure our very own "watchdog" and advocate (Richard Moore) will advise us.
>It does NOT say you can't charge fines. (But I 
>agree with Blanche and Richard that there are 
>better ways to get books back. An early morning 
>polite "Courtesy Call" at 7:30 at home before 
>the student leaves for school might just do the 
>trick – it has worked for me in the past on several occasions!).
>It does NOT say you must check out books or 
>other materials to the student if the student has lost or damaged other items.
>It DOES say the parent is liable.
>It  (19911, see below my signature for full 
>text) DOES say: Any person who willfully detains 
>. . . for 30 days after notice in writing to 
>return the article or property, given after the 
>expiration of the time for which by the rules of 
>the institution the article or property may be 
>kept, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
>It seems to me that if you send home a notice 
>with the information that it is a MISDEMEANOR it 
>is going to get the parent's attention, and 
>pronto! Highlight the word misdemeanor with a yellow highlighter if advisable.
>  I would phrase it: Pleased be advised that Ed 
> Code 19911 states that anyone willfully 
> detaining school library materials "is guilty of a misdemeanor."
>Or you could quote the entire section, but I 
>doubt that would be necessary and perhaps 
>"unfriendly" at this point. I would keep a 
>printout of the entire section on hand at the 
>library or at the front office, if that's where 
>the parents would pay for the items, just in case they ask.
>I would send home this information on the bill 
>only after the first notice has been sent out to 
>the parents, unless this is a family that you 
>have this problem with on a recurring basis.
>I keep a copy of this in my Drafts file so I can access it when needed.
>See below signature for several important Ed 
>Code sections pertaining to this topic, 
>including: Credible Threat, Vandalism, Fighting, etc.
>Joanne Ladewig  (A.K.A. "Library Lady")
>Library Media Tech
>Lawrence Elementary, GGUSD
>Garden Grove, California
>Comments are my own and may not represent the views of GGUSD
>Destruction and Defacing of Library Property
>California Education Code § 19910 Any person who 
>maliciously cuts, tears, defaces, breaks, or 
>injures any book, map, chart, picture, 
>engraving, statue, coin, model, apparatus, or 
>other work of literature, art, mechanics, or 
>object of curiosity, deposited in any public 
>library, gallery, museum, collection, fair, or 
>exhibition, is guilty of a misdemeanor. The 
>parent or guardian of a minor who willfully and 
>maliciously commits any act within the scope of 
>this section shall be liable for all damages so 
>caused by the minor. 
>Failure to Return Library Materials
>California Education Code § 19911 Any person who 
>willfully detains any book, newspaper, magazine, 
>pamphlet, manuscript, or other property 
>belonging to any public or incorporated library, 
>reading room, museum, or other educational 
>institution, for 30 days after notice in writing 
>to return the article or property, given after 
>the expiration of the time for which by the 
>rules of the institution the article or property 
>may be kept, is guilty of a misdemeanor. The 
>parent or guardian of a minor who willfully and 
>maliciously commits any act within the scope of 
>this section shall be liable for all damages so 
>caused by the minor. 
>Theft of library materials, Searches, and 
>Reasonable Detention of Patrons by Library Personnel
>California Penal Code § 490.5(a) Upon a first 
>conviction for petty theft involving merchandise 
>taken from a merchant’s premises or a book or 
>other library materials taken from a library 
>facility, a person shall be punished by a 
>mandatory fine of not less than fifty dollars 
>($50) and not more than one thousand dollars 
>($1,000) for each such violation; and may also 
>be punished by imprisonment in the county jail, 
>not exceeding six months, or both such fine and imprisonment.
>… continues in detail defining library 
>materials, describing guardian responsibility 
>for minor’s behavior, and allows library to 
>detain a patron for a reasonable time for the 
>purpose of conducting an investigation in a 
>reasonable manner if there is probable cause to 
>believe the patron is attempting to unlawfully 
>take or has unlawfully taken merchandise from the merchant’s premises…
>(h) Any library facility shall post at its 
>entrance and exit a conspicuous sign to read as 
>Fights, Loud and Unreasonable noise, Fighting Words
>California Penal Code § 415 Any of the following 
>persons shall be punished by imprisonment in the 
>county jail for a period of not more than 90 
>days, a fine of not more than four hundred 
>dollars ($400), or both such imprisonment and 
>fine: (1) Any person who unlawfully fights in a 
>public place or challenges another person in a 
>public place to fight. (2) Any person who 
>maliciously and willfully disturbs another 
>person by loud and unreasonable noise. (3) Any 
>person who uses offensive words in a public 
>place which are inherently likely to provoke an 
>immediate violent reaction. 
>California Penal Code §594. 
>Trespass: Refusing to Leave Public Building when Closed
>California Penal Code § 602(p) Refusing or 
>failing to leave a public building of a public 
>agency during those hours of the day or night 
>when the building is regularly closed to the 
>public upon being requested to do so by a 
>regularly employed guard, watchman, or custodian 
>of the public agency owning or maintaining the 
>building or property, if the surrounding 
>circumstances are such as to indicate to a 
>reasonable person that the person has no 
>apparent lawful business to pursue. 
>Intentional Interference with the Public or Public Employees
>California Penal Code § 602.1. (a) Any person 
>who intentionally interferes with any lawful 
>business or occupation carried on by the owner 
>or agent of a business establishment open to the 
>public, by obstructing or intimidating those 
>attempting to carry on business, or their 
>customers, and who refuses to leave the premises 
>of the business establishment after being 
>requested to leave by the owner or the owner’s 
>agent, or by a peace officer acting at the 
>request of the owner or owner’s agent, is guilty 
>of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in 
>a county jail for up to 90 days, or by a fine of 
>up to four hundred dollars ($400), or by both 
>that imprisonment and fine. (b) Any person who 
>intentionally interferes with any lawful 
>business carried on by the employees of a public 
>agency open to the public, by obstructing or 
>intimidating those attempting to carry on 
>business, or those persons there to transact 
>business with the public agency, and who refuses 
>to leave the premises of the public agency after 
>being requested to leave by the office manager 
>or a supervisor of the public agency, or by a 
>peace officer acting at the request of the 
>office manager or a supervisor of the public 
>agency, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable 
>by imprisonment in a county jail for up to 90 
>days, or by a fine of up to four hundred dollars 
>($400), or by both that imprisonment and fine. 
>(c) This section shall not apply to any of the 
>following persons: (1) Any person engaged in 
>lawful labor union activities that are permitted 
>to be carried out on the property by state or 
>federal law. (2) Any person on the premises who 
>is engaging in activities protected by the 
>California Constitution or the United States 
>Constitution. (d) Nothing in this section shall 
>be deemed to supersede the application of any 
>other law. 
>Credible Threat
>California Penal Code § 646.9. (a) Any person 
>who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly 
>follows or harasses another person and who makes 
>a credible threat with the intent to place that 
>person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, 
>or the safety of his or her immediate family, is 
>guilty of the crime of stalking, punishable by 
>imprisonment in a county jail for not more than 
>one year or by a fine of not more than one 
>thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine 
>and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the 
>state prison. 
>Disorderly Conduct, Lewd Behavior, Upskirting, Loitering, Under the Influence
>California Penal Code § 647. 
>Excerpts: Every person who commits any of the 
>following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct, 
>a misdemeanor: (a) Who solicits anyone to engage 
>in or who engages in lewd or dissolute conduct 
>in any public place or in any place open to the 
>public or exposed to public view... (c) Who 
>accosts other persons in any public place or in 
>any place open to the public for the purpose of 
>begging or soliciting alms. (d) Who loiters in 
>or about any toilet open to the public for the 
>purpose of engaging in or soliciting any lewd or 
>lascivious or any unlawful act. (e) Who loiters 
>or wanders upon the streets or from place to 
>place without apparent reason or business and 
>who refuses to identify himself or herself and 
>to account for his or her presence when 
>requested by any peace officer so to do, if the 
>surrounding circumstances would indicate to a 
>reasonable person that the public safety demands 
>this identification (f) Who is found in any 
>public place under the influence of intoxicating 
>liquor, any drug, controlled substance … 
>interferes with or obstructs or prevents the 
>free use of any street, sidewalk, or other public way.
>In addition, see California Penal Code 653g. 
>Every person who loiters about any school or 
>public place at or near which children attend or 
>normally congregate and who remains at any 
>school or public place at or near which children 
>attend or normally congregate …  As used in this 
>section, "loiter" means to delay, to linger, or 
>to idle about a school or public place without 
>lawful business for being present.
>Nuisance Law
>California Civil Code § 3479 Anything which is 
>injurious to health, including, but not limited 
>to, the illegal sale of controlled substances, 
>or is indecent or offensive to the senses, or an 
>obstruction to the free use of property, so as 
>to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of 
>life or property, or unlawfully obstructs the 
>free passage or use, in the customary manner, of 
>any navigable lake, or river, bay, stream, 
>canal, or basin, or any public park, square, 
>street, or highway, is a nuisance.
>§3480 A public nuisance is one which affects at 
>the same time an entire community or 
>neighborhood, or any considerable number of 
>persons, although the extent of the annoyance or 
>damage inflicted upon individuals may be unequal.
>Note: The California Supreme Court recently 
>provided a rather exhaustive discussion of 
>public nuisance law in People ex rel. Gallo v. 
>Acuna (1997) 14 Cal.4th 1090, 1102, 60 Cal.Rptr.2d 277.
>CALIBK12 site list
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Mark Williams
Consulting Librarian
Professional Services for Conferences, Districts, Workshops
"The closest thing you will find to an orderly 
universe is a good library"  Ashleigh Brilliant  

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