I am a PhD student studying in the US. I have been working at a lab in my department for a year now. When I joined the team, there was a master's candidate student who was already working at the lab for about a semester before I joined. The master's student is an Asian female from abroad who is a year older and I am an Asian American born and raised in the states. Because of her cultural background and due to the fact that she has been with the lab longer than I have combined with her being older than me, she has been kinda bossing me around from day 1. To be honest, I really don't mind doing the grunt work as long as my efforts contribute to something meaningful, so I never said anything about this. Despite her overbearing nature, I have been trying hard to get along and we haven't had any trouble over the course of this year.
However, there was one incident about four months ago when she asked me to borrow a textbook for her from the school library. She told me that she would return the book herself within three months. I trusted her, and as I was already at the library at the time, I borrowed the book in my name and gave it to her later that day.
After the promised three months, I checked my library account only to find out that the book was not returned. I politely asked her to return the book, and she apologized for not doing so earlier and told me that she would return the book as soon as she has the chance. She sounded very sorry, so I believed her again.
Two weeks have gone by, and I checked my library account this morning, only to find that the book has not been returned. The only thing is that it is final exams week and I don't want to make a scene with this woman. Another problem is that she no longer works at our lab she will be graduating after this semester, so, there is a real possibility of her taking off with the book, and I'll be the one left with the fees ($300).
How do I force her to return the book without burning ties with this person? The Asian community at my school is pretty small, so an incident like this can hurt my reputation and I would not want that.