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  

GVPL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No passenger flights at West Kootenay Regional Airport until at least September

This is the third time Air Canada has announced changes to flight operations out of the airport

Village of Nakusp looks to reduce water consumption

With sprinklers/hoses, residents could only water gardens for two hours on certain days under amended bylaw

Morning Start: 180 different bird species exist in Kootenay National Park

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Friday, May 29

Nakusp RCMP seize large quantity of drugs during seach warrant on May 27

The warrant was conducted in the 300th block of 8th Avenue NW

Possible Kermode Bear spotted near Castlegar

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run on May 27

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

State of Local Emergency declared for Boundary as communities brace for river flooding

Warm weather and heavy rain could cause sections of Kettle River system to swell beyond 2018 levels

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

B.C. tourism seeks relief as businesses wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease

Mid-June earliest for more in-province travel to be authorized

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

B.C. woman launches First Nations search, rescue and patrol program

Linda Peters envisions trained searchers ready to go at moment’s notice in each B.C. First Nation

Most Read