Woman with $12,000 library fines goes viral on TikTok after hoarding books for years
A woman has been left with fines of nearly $12,000 in library fines after checking out books from the library for her dissertation years in advance and then hoarding them at home.
A lot of people know the stress of finding the right books and sources when doing any kind of research. Finding the right books is just part of the stress as you have to compete with others to get to borrow it from the library, leaving many to constantly renew books to not have to give them back.
One TikTok user named historyhan, a PhD student in Medieval History, was left mortified when she got an email from her library claiming that she owed $11,900 after losing 119 books. However, Hannah hadn’t actually lost the books, she was hoarding them in her home until she’d finished her dissertation.
How did woman accrue over $10k in library fines?
Hannah shared a screenshot of the message in the beginning of the video before she showed off the piles upon piles of tomes that have built up around her home.
“As it stands, your library account has $11,900 owed for 119 lost books,” the email read. “It becomes “lost” in our system after 30 days overdue. Lost books incur a flat rate of $100.”
The email continued to say that it was “the patron’s responsibility to renew the books” if they need to take them out longer and that the library ‘sends weekly reminders’ when they’re overdue.
“According to our system, you received overdue notices on the following dates prompting you to renew your library books before they are declared lost,” the email continued.
Hannah then cut the video to piles of books all over her home as she wrote: “The books aren’t lost, I’m just hoarding them until I finish my dissertation.”
She went on to caption the video: “The librarian who sent this email must have felt so powerful #gradstudentlife”
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Viewers are calling her a book thief
In the comment section, the student admitted that she’s had the books for “years” but insisted she was still planning to return them.
One person commented: “You mean to tell me that I cannot steal books they intended me to borrow? Unbelievable.”
Hannah replied to the comment: “They’re not stolen, they’re still in use.”
She continued to tell another viewer that she’d “learned her lesson” after she was told hoarding books like this is considered stealing.
Another person commented: “Umm yeah that’s way too long to keep that many books.”
A fourth person wrote: “I work in circulation and this hurt my soul.”
However, everything seems to have worked out well in the end, as Hannah told people in the comments: “They let me renew them for a reasonable $20 fee, thank goodness!!!”