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

Okanagan FC one win away from playoff berth

The Kelowna soccer club finishes their season with two home games

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: cloudy, showers expected

Environment Canada is predicting a mix of sun and clouds tomorrow and a sunny weekend across the Okanagan

Kelowna’s McCurdy house gets operation model redesign

No illegal drug use in supportive housing in Rutland community, B.C. Housing Minister says

Kelowna winery holds “hot dog” race for SPCA

Dog owners and their pets were invited to the House of Rose Winery for a race through the vineyards

UPDATE: Charges laid in West Kelowna assault

An arrest was made after RCMP plea for witnesses

Kelowna’s Okanagan Regional Library may not look like the one you grew up with!

New technology and arts programming transforms library operations

Pamela Anderson adds star power to B.C. Green Party town hall

Celebrity attended Nanaimo meeting with representatives from U.S.-based environmental group

Canadian Forces Snowbirds making quick trip to South Okanagan

Planes will be touching down at the Penticton airport to refuel

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Okanagan woman heads up college foundation board

Gladys Fraser of Vernon brings experience to role as chair of Okanagan College Foundation board

Stolen car now returned to Summerland dealership

Vehicle was stolen on same day as attempted carjacking incident

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Police recover $12,700 in stolen pet food from North Shuswap property

Chase RCMP execute third search of property where stolen vehicles, illegal firearms seized

Most Read