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We're way overdue for an overdue book story! The BBC Saves The Day! An overdue book borrowed from a Cumbrian library more than a quarter of a century ago has been returned.
The book, Mining in the Lake Counties by WT Shaw, was posted back to Penrith Library anonymously during an amnesty.
It was last borrowed in April 1983 and was one of 400 overdue items returned to libraries throughout the county during the 10-day suspension of fines.
Libraries are not stores. Sorry to boil it down to such a simple statement, but libraries are unique institutions (as the idiot who keeps going "What's a library?" seems to think is so funny) that provide a community service. Most library systems require you to provde a couple forms of id to get a card.
Sewell Chan's NY Times Blog reports on a program at the Queens Borough Library that for the past eleven years has utilized a collection agency and also sometimes refers extreme cases to a credit bureau.
In a related story, one overdue borrower sued the collection agency and won (on something of a technicality).
Readers are invited to reveal their own overdue book stories here.
Should an overdue library book affect your credit rating?
Chile has returned 3,778 books that its military had taken from Peru's national library - more than 126 years overdue.
Chilean soldiers pillaged the library in 1881 after capturing the Peruvian capital, Lima, during the 1879-1883 War of the Pacific.
Now residing in Brooklyn, N.Y., Elizabeth Gifford enclosed a note in the package explaining that she'd recently found the book and realized it was from her high school library.
She wrote to the school librarian that she recalled the late fee on overdue books as 10 cents per day. So, she did the math.
Enclosed in the envelope with the book was a check to the Brooks High School Library for $620 - the accumulated fine since 1990.
"I couldn't believe it," Whitehead said. "She requested that the money, 'please be used for new library acquisitions.' "
When it comes to overdue books there are apparently no excuses - not even death - at the Harrison Public Library.
That's the lesson a town woman learned when she was charged a 50-cent late fee while turning in a book that had been checked out by her mother, who died before she could return it herself.
"I was in shock,'' Elizabeth Schaper said of the incident at the Bruce Avenue library branch. "This has rocked me to my core."
From Arizona Nearly 30 years ago, Brian Cogley checked out a book from the Donaldson Elementary School library and he finally got around to returning it last week.
Cogley, 39, borrowed "The Great Brain," written by John Fitzgerald, from the library as a fourth-grader sometime during the 1977-1978 school year with the intention of holding on to it for good.
"I really liked it," Cogley said by phone from Oakland, Calif. "As a kid, it was kind of twisted and dark and I was amused by it. I wanted to keep it."
Bad PR From the UK. Tessa said: "Luckily, my daughter is the kind of girl who shows me things, but what about other children who may be too worried to show their parents? Or children who may just forget the letter and leave it in their schoolbag?"
She added: "I was really angry at the wording of the letter. My daughter obviously has no means of paying the fine, so I assume as parents they would expect us to pay. However, without a notice sent to us directly, regarding our daughter's fine, how can we be expected to pay or be held liable?"
JET writes "Interesting One From CA: " To have a library fine of $1,505 - the amount Amy N. Smith owes the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library - requires an uncommon appetite for books or videos, and also a forgetful, crooked or oblivious state of mind.
Smith, of Hayward, said she was "screwed up" - bipolar and without medication - when she borrowed "a ton" of DVDs from the library last year. Now healthy, she said she does not "seem to have them" but will pay her bill.
Her $1,505 debt, having grown at $2 per DVD per day, is more than anyone else owes the library, according to a record the library provided in response to a California Public Records Act request. The database that includes Smith's fine and others changes when someone pays or builds debt. But the day it was produced last month, 32,185 different people owed a total of $626,196.