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

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

Vancouver Island teen with viral video headlining first concert

Lauren Spencer-Smith, formerly of Port Alberni, has been recording new songs

Port Alberni beach closed due to high bacterial count

Island Health has closed Canal Waterfront Park on the Alberni Inlet to… Continue reading

Port Alberni RCMP identify suspect in locker room thefts

Multiple complaints came in about thefts from Echo Centre lockers

Logging truck accident briefly closes Franklin River Road near Port Alberni

A single vehicle rollover involving a logging truck temporarily closed Franklin River… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

B.C. First Nation’s group using ads in Texas targeting company for fuel spill

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Most Read