Look no further! It’s just been returned to the Camden Council’s Public Library in Sydney, Australia – 122 years after it was borrowed!!
First checked out from the Camden School of Arts’ Library on Jan. 30, 1889, the book was returned to it’s successor, the Camden Council Library in Sydney’s southwest, earlier this month.
Library service manager Kathryn Baget-Juleff estimates the late fine could top $37,000, accounting for inflation. But instead of enforcing the fine, the library will send the book into the library’s read-only section where it—hopefully—doesn’t skip out of circulation for another 122 years.
Keeping track of overdue books is the ongoing nightmare of all of us working in school libraries.
Prior to checking out our library overdue policy, one of our students recently ‘fessed up, in front of the class, that he had a book that was eight months overdue! What can you do but cajole, humour, encourage and hope that the book will be returned one day – soon.
While some of our flock do have a fairly stringent attitude to overdue books, others take this as a signal that the books are indeed being borrowed. I recollect the day I visited the school library of a friend’s son. Sharing titbits as you do when you reveal that you too are a Teacher Librarian, this particular Teacher Librarian proclaimed loudly and firmly that she had no overdue policy in her library. “Students are welcome to borrow and keep the books for as long as they like”, she told me.
I never did tell her that my friend’s son giggled his way through an admission that he had stacks and stacks of books in his bedroom – many years after he’d graduated from school!