Man arrested for overdue library book

Nothing says 'street cred' like doing time for an overdue GED study guide. (image taken from video)

Nothing says 'street cred' like doing time for an overdue GED study guide. (image taken from video)

Reading put the fun in fundamental, but failure to return library books can put people in jail.

A Texas man had the book thrown at him by Copperas Cove police recently after failing to return an overdue library book, reports Fox News.

Jory C. Enck checked out a GED study guide in 2010 and never returned it, police said. He was arrested for “overdue library materials” and released on a $200 bond.

A patron must have a book checked out for a minimum of 90 days and not respond to phone calls or emails from the library before the municipal court is notified, according to library policy.

A municipal judge said the city’s unusual ordinance has been met with “universal hatred.”

“No one wants to go to jail for a library book,” said Judge Bill Price.

A GED study guide like the one Enck checked out is back on the library shelf, reports

Enck’s library card was found inside the book and library records showed the book had been turned in the day after Enck’s arrest.

I’m all for returning library books on time, and I’ve returned a few late myself, but I’ve always wondered why a library charges full price if you lose an old book. I’ve seen what used books go for and it’s not full retail.

And wouldn’t digital books fix this problem?

Here’s more news you can check out and not return:

43 comments Add your comment


November 1st, 2013
9:01 am

Jerry Seinfeld never had to go to jail, despite several unwelcome visits from the old codger library cop.


November 1st, 2013
9:02 am

Full price is charged for lost/stolen books because they have to be replaced. And they are replaced with new books. Add the staff time needed to prepare the book to be circulated and it costs even more.


November 1st, 2013
9:07 am

How typical. The guy violated a rule/ law. When he was caught, he made noise about the penalty. Where is the Remorse? Accountability?


November 1st, 2013
9:08 am

that cop on Seinfeld was named Bookman:


November 1st, 2013
9:08 am

This is sad case and a shame. Libraries charge a “replacement charge” for lost books because libraries do not purchase old ragged or used copies of books. Not worth the effort. Libraries pay higher prices for books because they are going to be “multiple use” copies unlike a book that a consumer might buy. Publishers and authors expect their due. Libraries only purchase new copies of books or add donated books that are in pristine condition. Yes you find old ragged books on library shelves sometimes but they end up being discarded when they are found or not checked out. Libraries call that “weeding.” Ebooks are great and most libraries are offering them but again libraries pay more because of multiple use. Publishers have been very slow to allow libraries to purchase ebooks because they really don’t understand how libraries lend them. Ebooks also eat into limited library collection development budgets so you have to purchase less books. FYI


November 1st, 2013
9:18 am

It seems a little harsh, however, he’d kept the book for three years! He ignored phone calls and emails requesting the return of the book. He plainly intended to steal that book and was thumbing his nose at the library system. I have to say that there must be some kind of civil penalty for such a person. Interesting that it was returned the next day, yes? I consider this- Notice Served! Return library books or pay a steep price.


November 1st, 2013
9:22 am

Because this is effective use of jails.


November 1st, 2013
9:31 am

We release real criminals from jail because of overcrowding and this is whom we arrest and confine? Why not issue a summons and let him pay a fine. It probably cost more to arrest and incarcerate this man than the price of the book. Idiotic!


November 1st, 2013
9:44 am

Sally must work in a library. She gave the answer I would have (and I work in a library too!).


November 1st, 2013
9:45 am

And I see George does too. :)

Prez Obozo

November 1st, 2013
9:46 am

If this person cannot be responsible enough to return a library book & ignore phone calls, emails, he is too irresponsible to be employed me!!! Typical life time burger flipper!


November 1st, 2013
9:56 am

The big question – did he get his GED?


November 1st, 2013
10:01 am

…but did Mr. Enck get his GED?

George Mathis

November 1st, 2013
10:06 am

Reporters in Texas have been unable to contact Mr. Enck to see if he got his GED or not.

He paid a $200 bond, so he must be working, right?


November 1st, 2013
10:10 am

Incredible! People in Texas can read?, or
Really? I thought the Texas legislature had already burned all the books. , or
I thought the only book in Texas was the bible. , or
He got off easy. In Texas, they hang people for less.

Ah, Texas, our national joke. Thanks for the rimshots…


November 1st, 2013
10:36 am

Not returning a library book is theft. Unfortunately the honor system doesn’t work for some of our fellow citizens, so for those folks we enforce the rules with a big stick.


November 1st, 2013
10:38 am

Irk, you sound very elitist. Texas is not our national joke; they are a model to be emulated. Sad you and others are so bitter about their many demonstrable success stories.


November 1st, 2013
10:44 am

This is BassAcwards Texas…so pitiful…Crazy!!! They have crazy rules.


November 1st, 2013
11:04 am

Sorry Scrivener, I agree with Irk on this one. Not sure which rock you’ve been hiding under lately but Texas is definitely one of our many national jokes. Funny stuff Irk.


November 1st, 2013
11:17 am

Yes, going to jail is some dumb crap we do in America. You can summon some and have him pay the fine and that’s it but putting an arrest record that follows you for the rest of your life for a stupid library book is dumb. So in America you can kill someone and not do any time but yet don’t return your library book you get to go to jail. Our great nation is filled with idiots and it doesn’t get any better


November 1st, 2013
11:33 am

Everyone in this town should not using this library. I cannot believe the police has nothing better to do. I hope this person can sue!


November 1st, 2013
11:59 am

@George, Wait, publishers don’t understand libraries? Who ELSE is buying books these days?

Maybe these two should sit down with a counselor and learn to understand each other. Otherwise both of them may find themselves obsolete.

And yes, libraries could be obsolete. They exist as they have for centuries because you needed a place for all that dead tree stuff and people to curate it, because that was the best way to convey information. The information is still the goal, but trees are no longer the best or only way and curation is not nearly as essential as it once was. Ebooks are the future because it really is just about the information. Everything else is merely the way it is because that’s how it’s “always been done” which is not even true.

Ultimately publishers and libraries both will become obsolete as authors are able to put their works directly into the hands or e-readers of their customers and get paid directly as well. If you write, that’s an awesome thing. If you are a publisher middleman, that’s terrifying. If you are a library, you are increasingly irrelevant.


November 1st, 2013
12:09 pm


Sorry but your comments about Texas being backwards ae unfounded, Yes, maybe this law is stupid, and should be repealed, but does not reflect on Texas altogether, ( See recent cover article in TIME magazine about growth in Texas and its prominence nationally.) You may not like it, but it is the future of the U.S.


November 1st, 2013
12:24 pm

…But did he ever get his GED? I smell a follow up story, us readers want to know!

Cheers to hoping he received his GED and a bit of a silver lining to this story.


November 1st, 2013
1:17 pm

Sandra, the states that are the biggest jokes are the ones with out of control spending that forces them to rack up astronomical debt. Take your pick–California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Maryland, etc. Notice a pattern here?

In case you have your elitist glasses on, I’ll spell it out for you. They are all controlled by the Democrats who want nothing more than to have the overwhelming masses stuck on the government teet. Dems don’t believe in capitalism, freedom, nor individualism. Not that the GOP is any better, but at least they seem to want to reign in spending and live within their means. Oh, and the white house residents are the biggest joke of them all!! Can’t believe anything that comes out of our rulers mouth…


November 1st, 2013
1:28 pm

It was TEXAS! A state full of IDIOTS! Filled to the Brim…..


November 1st, 2013
2:02 pm

Wow, Maude thinks he should sue the library because he stole one of their books and got arrested for it. Priceless portrait of liberalism on display.


November 1st, 2013
2:40 pm

“Ultimately publishers and libraries both will become obsolete as authors are able to put their works directly into the hands or e-readers of their customers and get paid directly as well.”

Gosh, I hope there are some gatekeepers left. If the comment section on sites such as this are any indication of the quality of information that self-annointed authors produce, then God help us.


November 1st, 2013
3:57 pm

Can’tStandsYa. Can’tStandsYa. Can’tStandsYa. Can’tStandsYa. Can’tStandsYa.


November 1st, 2013
3:58 pm

Too bad it wasn’t a copy of “Tropic of Cancer” or was it “Tropic of Capricorn.” Was he chewing Blackjack gum when he was arrested?


November 1st, 2013
4:27 pm

somewhere there was a pediphile that got out early due to over crowding


November 1st, 2013
4:49 pm

anyone who thinks that he got what he deserved is an absolute nerd. go follow the speed limit on the highway and leave the sane people alone.


November 1st, 2013
5:51 pm

I don’t care if he kept it for 30 years. Jailing him was actually the unacceptable thing ….


November 1st, 2013
6:13 pm

I have had an experience wherein I had returned a book in an OUTDOOR bin (DON’T DO IT!!). I later received a threatening letter saying this was my third notice and I would have a serious fine or jail time if I didn’t retun. First of all, if you knew me, you’d know I would respond immediately to a FIRST notice. i hadn’t received the first two. And it’s not likely that our mail was “lost,” for we had a SUPER mail man, and in 20 years in that location, not a single other piece of mail was missing. I went to the place I had gotten that book off the shelf and THERE IT WAS. The librarians, when presented with the book, checked and adimtted THEY HAD FAILED TO SCAN IT BACK IN. The head librarian shrugged and said, “it happens,” nonchalantly. It wasn’t nonchalant for me, after the threatening letter. And I thought about people who are frail – what if an elderly lady who was frail received a frightening notice like that?! So it’s not always the customer’s fault. I have never returned to that library or ANY Library and never will.


November 1st, 2013
6:16 pm

PS the young man SHOULD Be applauded, for trying to get his GED. Doubtful someone like that would ignore 3 notices either. And one last thing – what’s with the “street cred” comment in the caption? Would it have said that, had the young man not been Black (and no, I am not, I’m pasty white)?


November 1st, 2013
6:36 pm

I don’t see a problem with this. If you borrow something, you need to return it. He can pay the $200 fine. Go after the rest of them. It will be hilarious really.


November 1st, 2013
7:59 pm

More to the point: Did this lazy moron ever get his GED?


November 1st, 2013
9:20 pm


November 2nd, 2013
5:42 am

I don’t work in a library, but I completely concur with Jessamine, Sally, and George. My children and I love the library and all the books that it has to offer. While reading an occasional e-book is fine, I want to be able to read physical books, too. Further, if the library is supposed to make books available to all socio-economic classes, ebooks are an illogical notion. (Look at that I am a conservative, and I logically considering a variety of socio-economic classes, not just myself. What a stereotype!)

I agree the punishment in this situation may seem harsh, but there has to be a consequence. It does, in fact, seem like the young man had no intention of returning the library book, which constitutes theft. And to those who bemoan “this is an effective use of jails,” please use a little common sense! He will pay a fine, serve community service, etc., but true jail time won’t be part of his punishment.


November 2nd, 2013
5:58 am

I have no problem with the stiff fine. While I’m not sure jail time is the answer, it seems to have gotten the book returned the following day in this case.
From a humor point of view, it reminds me of the song Alice’s Restaurant. Imagine being in jail telling the other people you were arrested for keeping a library book. LOL


November 2nd, 2013
6:53 am

Wow in Texas, education and learning are apparently not highly regarded, but hey that is a Republican state of craziness. Why not just fine the kid, instead of putting someone who is learning in jail ?

Reminds us as to why the Bush Administration stop funding the Boy and Girls Clubs of America, and after school programs for children, and then started a made up war.

Please tell us how that war helped American’s ?

Make the kid pay for a new book, anything, but jail over a book ? Really wow.

Kind of makes you understand why a guy like Cruz can hold America hostage for a budget, and Texas finds that the way to go. I guess if we were going to start another War like Bush did the Texan’s would jump all for it, and spend Billions, kind of like the 3 plus Billion dollar Dam that got pushed through, as part of the Budget Deal…… since we are Broke.


November 2nd, 2013
7:02 am

Reminds me of the MARRIED Republican Judge here in Atlanta who was at strip clubs with his girlfriend the dance… buying her Pot and Cocaine, cause he knew she had a record.

Did he go to jail ?

Heck no in fact they let him retire with full tax payer benefits, and then he got charged, and did no time…..It is good to be a Republican Judge, cause you can break the rules, and not get the same punishment if you are not in an important position.

By they way if you had shown up in his court doing the same thing, you would have gotten time ! Because he would have thrown the book at you, as the records show.

What’s good for the rich, is not for the poor.


November 2nd, 2013
5:36 pm

To Sally, Jessamine and George and the like minded,
Last I checked, in this country, there was this thing called “burden of proof” that was required in rder to prove a person as guilty. Granted, in this case, it appears as if the guy was guilty, since the book and library card showed up the very next day. However(And this is a BIG however!)…I checked out a book from the library. A book by Tesla that turns out to be a $300 book. I placed the book in front of the librarian, made sure I made eye contact and the librarian said they would check it in. A month later I get a bill for that book stating that it was never returned. It was, obviously, and I don’t pay for items that I didn’t lose in the first place. I’m pretty sure I can guess who snagged it, if they didn’t work for the library, as it would be one of the regulars with their backpack that, essentially lives in the library to use the computers and, apparently, snag on valuable books when they get a chance.
Now some things to consider. I had no frickin’ clue this book was that expensive, as I wouldn’t have checked it out and then just trusted that the librarian would check it in…I would have gotten a receipt to prove that it was returned(I now would recommend that to anyone on any book.).
In addition, those lame book drop off containers outside…NEVER drop off a book that you can’t afford to pay for in one of those, as they DO get broken into.
As for any librarian justifying why anyone should pay full price for a used book….you are, completely, out of your mind, unless this book was new. My kid lost a book before and that retail new price was charged, when I could have got them the same book, in better condition than the original, at a used book store for 1/3rd the price + would have understood any late fee necessary until I replace that book as my responsibility. You all, just seek to take advantage of the consumer. With that stated, this is why I skip on the library, as many patrons have started doing and either buy a book I am interested in at a used book store, online, or find a free copy online. By your attitudes you have cost the library many more patrons than you have now. By doing that, you have explained to yourselves the low pay librarians have.
P.S. I used to work in a library too and I saw those attitudes as prevalent .When a book is lost, you say pony up the cash. When a patron came to me and said they turned in a book, I searched in every possible way in the library to find where it could have been misplaced, rather than treating my customers like criminals and enemies who needed to pay up the most cash possible, It won’t get you a raise that way, as any extra money isn’t going toward a raise for you, regardless of what your boss says: it’s going toward more media and books or building on to the library itself, so…stop punishing the customers for your low paying job of which YOU chose.