Carl Cavanagh holds a copy of an LP version of the “Anatomy of a Murder” soundtrack, which was recently returned to the library – more than 20 years have the library stopped lending records (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

The strangest things ever returned to B.C. public library

Some things are returned decades late, others never belonged to the library at all

Many people are late in returning their library books, but few can beat the current record of 82 years on the south Island.

That’s the most overdue book the Greater Victoria Public Library had turned in, a copy of Stephen Leacock’s “Sunshine sketches of a small town” that was taken out during the First World War.

While eight decades of late fees would add up, librarian Carl Cavanagh said there wasn’t a charge.

“I don’t think there would be any late fees because frankly I think the publicity is worth its weight in gold,” Cavanagh laughed.

While the book was certainly the most overdue thing to come in, it wasn’t the strangest.

“We’ve got about five million circulations in a year, so lots of things come back that we probably didn’t lend in the first place,” said Cavanagh said.

READ MORE: Greater Victoria Public Library has highest circulation rate in Canada

Some of these items might be books from schools or other libraries, or even items people have used as bookmarks.

“We get pressed flowers often, you can tell the time of year because you get more and more pressed flowers in the summer. We got a $100 bill for a book mark recently, and many people use their library card,” Cavanagh said. “My favourite though was someone, used for a bookmark, their television remote. I’m imagining the scene in the household ‘where is the television remote?!’ and it’s literally come back in the book.”

One book came in destroyed with a humorous letter penned by an apologetic dog who offered to replace to it, but one of Cavanagh’s favourite returns was an old record.

READ MORE: Dog’s clever apology letter brings laughs to Saanich librarians

“We haven’t lent long-playing records since the early 90’s and just recently we got this LP, it’s a fascinating thing,” Cavanagh said.

The record is the soundtrack of the 1959 “Anatomy of a Murder” movie, by Duke Ellington.

“We’re not sure when it was taken out, but imagine if it was in 1959, that’s nearly 60 years!”

Despite the long overdue dates, the libraries often try to encourage people to come back. Most recently they ran a “Food for Fines” campaign where people who donated food for The Mustard Seed could have their overdue fees waived.

READ MORE: Greater Victoria Public Library waives overdue fines for food

If, however, people have missed the mark for that event, people can still come forward.

“We encourage people to come and talk to us, we’re nice people and we’ll work things out,” Cavanagh said. “It’s really important that people feel valued at the library and that we want them here, it’s not about stuff.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi

Like us on Facebook  

Just Posted

No home for Agassiz Community Garden on school district land

The garden is still homeless after SD78 said no to the society using the McCaffrey School property

Life rings, signs to improve safety on Harrison waterfront

Harrison council approved $125,000 in aquatic safety projects for the beach

PHOTOS: Harrison students take on the Bunny Run

Harrison Hot Springs Elementary students dressed up for the Easter event

No more mobile vendors on Harrison beach

The approval of an updated business licence bylaw means Nolan Irwin is without a cart

Chilliwack PEO: ‘We who are sisters’

International oganization celebrating 150 years of service

VIDEO: Agassiz, Harrison celebrate National Pet Day

From cats and dogs to lizards and chickens, residents showed off the animals that enrich their lives

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

Most Read