Overdue Book

True Stories from a Book Drop Near You

Oct. 25th blog post, www.merrylibrarian.com

Book drops. It seems simple, doesn’t it? A name like “book drop” doesn’t leave much room for mystery…you’d think.

A recent poll of librarians has proven otherwise, however. Across the nation, patrons of public libraries have confused a book drop with trash receptacles, a donation box, urinals, chicken coops… The list goes on and on.

While we may never understand how or why this confusion occurs, we do know that the result of patron confusion–though sometimes disturbing–is frequently amusing. So, until the government provides libraries with several billion dollars to launch an education campaign on proper book drop use, we have taken it upon ourselves to provide you with this useful list of book drop dos and don’ts–all based on the true stories that have been sent in from around the world.

1. Situation: You work at a library in the city of Las Vegas, NV. As you approach the book drop, you hear the sound of squawking and scratching.

Don’t…Assume you’re crazy. You may be miles from the nearest farm, but there actually are chickens in your book drop…complete with food and water. Hey, it happens.

Do… Tell your coworkers to fire up the bar-be-que, baby!

2. Situation: Upon opening the book drop, you are pummeled by the stench of garbage. And on top of the rubbish heap in your book drop? A used maxi pad.

Don’t…Toss your cookies into the book drop. You’d only have to clean that up, too.

Fines for ESL Materials, Interlibrary Loans and Childrens Books

It's clamp down time at the Seattle Public Library. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously Wednesday to impose overdue fines on previously exempt childrens books and English-as-a-second-language materials, charge a $5 fee for interlibrary loans and limit the number of materials a user can check out and place holds on.

Fines on previously exempt materials, which will remain exempt until changes start Oct. 15, are expected to bring an added $36,000 in annual revenue. City Librarian Susan Hildreth said the decision was not done to raise revenue, but to help staffers maintain their workload and keep materials in circulation.

The Seattle PI article goes on to quote some library users who are very unhappy about the proposed changes.

SFPL "Celebrity Excuse" Videos for Fine Amnesty Feature Captain "Sully," Marga Gomez, More

San Francisco Public Library has released a great series of short videos called "Celebrity Excuses" to promote their Fine Amnesty Period (May 3-May 16). Among others, videos feature writer Beth Lisick, comedian Marga Gomez, and pilot "Sully" Sullenberger, who says, "You've misplaced your library book. Perhaps you've just forgotten to return it until it's late and you owe fines. Or maybe you're just trying to think of a really, really good excuse like 'It got lost in the Hudson River.'"


Overdue Book From Another Era

Talk about overdue: A book lost since Union soldiers raided a library during the Civil War was returned to a Virginia university (Washington & Lee) 145 years late. One of those UPI Odd Stories.

Most of the volumes taken from the Washington College library during the war between the states were returned soon after, but one -- a leather-bound book that was part of a four-volume history of a Napoleonic military campaign -- didn't make it back to Lexington, VA until February, the school's technical services librarian said Wednesday.

More Than a Bit Overdue

An overdue library book with a storied past - including being pulled across an ice-covered St. Lawrence River on a skid - is back home in Canada after no less than 110 years. Story from Recorder.

The cost of its journey, dating back to 1899 from the Lyn Public Library (ON), should have been more than $9,000, but it is a fine retired Denver, Colorado, engineer Dale Fenton Baird Sr. will not have to pull out of his wallet.

With book in hand Wednesday, the American walked into the Lyn Heritage Place Museum with the five-inch thick Webster's Dictionary his great uncle Mutt failed to return just before the turn of the century.

The entire Baird family moved from the village of Lyn to Brant, New York, in the winter of 1899. "Now the old librarian can rest easy," said Lyn Heritage Place president Orval Ladd, drawing a big laugh from a crowd of supporters and local historians gathered to see the newly famous tome returned to its homeland.


Overdue Book Borrowed by JFK Will be Returned to Library of Congress

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum said it will display, as part of a weeklong celebration of Presidents' Day, a 1930 biography of Abraham Lincoln that was apparently borrowed by Kennedy, or a member of his staff, when he was serving in the Senate in the 1950s.

The Library of Congress book, "A. Lincoln" by Ross F. Lockridge, was found in Kennedy's pre-presidential papers. It has been listed as missing in the Library of Congress online catalog, and will be returned to its collection after the display.

"It has just always been assumed to have been one of his books," said library spokesman Tom McNaught, but the library recently learned "it had been checked out since he was a senator and he had just kept it."

Long overdue library book returned from Ohio

A library book checked out from an Oklahoma school library in 1947 has turned up in Ohio and been returned -- with a $250 check to cover overdue fees.

Librarian Betty Niver says the book "New Word Analysis: Or School Etymology of English Derivative Words" was mailed to Holland Hall School in Tulsa by Martha McCabe Jarrett.


Graduates with a degree of anger at bill for overdue library books

Graduates with a degree of anger at bill for overdue library books: He said many universities would bar students from attending graduations over debts. “We want all students to be able to enjoy their graduation day, and permit students with debts to attend, but withhold their certificates until their debts are paid. Whilst it may be disappointing for a student, they are able to take a full part in their ceremony alongside their peers, in every other way.”

Valley libraries battle delinquent borrowers

I love a good dramatic headline! Valley libraries battle delinquent borrowers: Mary Jean Moser, supervisor of Circulation Services at Bucknell’s Bertrand Library, said, “The risk we take — that any library takes — is that if someone borrows a book they may not return it. They might move away to Michigan, and then they’ve got the book.”

Woman cuffed, booked for not paying library fines

A Wisconsin woman has been arrested and booked for failing to pay her library fines.
Twenty-year-old Heidi Dalibor told the News Graphic in Cedarburg that she ignored the library's calls and letters as well as a notice to appear in court.
(Thanks to Gary for the headsup)



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