Tina Harden brought the books back, she says because she'd brought attention to the issue, and not because of the attention she'd received. Or the fact that others had donated more copies of those books to the library (so many that the library is refusing to accept them now). Or that public opinion was pretty solidly against her. Nope--she'd done what she set out to do, she claims, and now it's over.

Oh, and she'd like that $85 fine waived now too, please.

"It's not that I lost the books or I didn't feel like turning them in," she said. "I want us to work together. Hopefully they have the same goals as I do."
The Seminole County Library Services Manager has said they can't waive the fines, and I hope she sticks with that. There's a principle at stake here, and it's not the money. The $85 is nothing. I don't know Harden's financial status, but even if she couldn't afford the fine, there are enough people out there who support what she's doing that someone (or a group of someones) could pay it without blinking.

The principle is that there has to be some cost, some payment you have to make if you break the rules, even if (maybe especially if) you're breaking them in what you consider a good cause. If I chain myself to the fence outside the White House to protest DADT or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I'm doing so knowing that I'm likely going to spend some time in jail, and probably pay a fine and court costs. I'm not going to get to dodge that simply by saying I did so as a matter of conscience. And if I think a book should be removed from a library (which I wouldn't) and take it upon myself to do so, then I bear the expense of that, whether it means I get sent to a credit agency for a bad debt, or lose my library privileges, or have to pay either late fees or for a new book. That's the deal. If you don't pay a price, you're not really making a statement. You're just being a douche.

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