It’s Never Too Late To Return What Is Not Yours – GNSOTD Thursday July 11th 2019

There are moments when you find you have something that does not belong to you, whether it is something you took, or as is more often the case – something you borrowed. Sometimes you have it far longer than you should and you might wonder if it is even worth giving back? The answer is always yes! And for the Hamilton Public Library there is one return that has garnered a bit of attention. It was a set of books that was 43 years overdue!



These four books on Shakespeare may have been borrowed by someone working on a project for school and possibly they were so useful they decided to keep them, perhaps they just got lost amongst their possessions, either way the Library is happy to have them back! A little fun fact is that in 1976, the late fees¬†were¬†five cents a day for adult books¬†and a penny a day for kids’ books, which¬†means the book-borrower would now owe about $3,175 in fines,¬†based on calculations by CBC News.


Almost every child has at one point or another kept a book out longer than they should, and sometimes they have to pay the late fees, but fortunately for this long time reader the Library began to clear fines after four years. They also have no idea who it was who had the books, at the time they didn’t track names, all they have to identify them is a card in the back with a stamp as to when they were due. They would like to be able to speak to them to know the story of the books and how they made their way back to the Library. Find out more of what they do know in your Good News Story of the Day here.


The good news is the books are “actually in quite good shape,” communications manager¬†Shelley McKay said,¬†adding that¬†they probably ended up on a bookshelf somewhere.¬†The books may go to the library’s Local History and Archives department, McKay said,¬†which is in the central branch downtown. Thanks to someone returning what wasn’t theirs (however it came to happen!) these books are back and are a part of history – not to mention a record for being late at the Hamilton Public Library!


Image from Hamilton Public Library, Story from CBC.

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