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Friday, 15 March 2013

A fine forgiveness

By: Andrea Vorster
 Whether you were captured by pirates or your dog ate your library book, your moment has arrived! It’s Library Week (16 March – 23 March) and we want your best excuses for returning your books late! In return we will kindly pardon the matter of your late books. It is as simple as that.

Each year, Amnesty Week has offered staff and students a pride saving opportunity to return all outstanding Library material fine-free. This year we are celebrating the Library by offering staff and students a creative solution to the problem of outstanding Library material by publishing some of the shameful excuses we suffer!

What is your best excuse?
The Fine Art Library in Edinburgh waived a £2700 fine for a book handed in more than 50 years late. Writer David Black took advantage of a Library Amnesty period in February this year to hand in a copy of Goya by Dr Xavier de Salas.

The book was borrowed on 22 September 1962, and was overdue for a total of 18,417 days! His excuse was that it simply slipped his mind to ever hand it back: “I was only a schoolboy at the time and completely forgot to return it. The book would pop up every now and again over the years but each time it would slip my mind to actually do it!”
Interestingly, David Black’s book is not the most over-due book ever to be returned to a library. In December 2011 Good Words for 1888 was returned after 123 years after being borrowed from the now non-operational Troutbeck Institute Library.

The matter of overdue library books has plagued librarians for centuries! Underneath the Lintel, http://wn.com/Underneath_the_Lintel#/videos a dramatic play written by Glen Berger (available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License) features a sole character, the Librarian, who embarks on a quest to find out who anonymously returned a library book that is 113 years overdue. A clue scribbled in the margin of the book and an unclaimed dry-cleaning ticket then takes him on a mysterious adventure that spans the globe and the ages. 

We’ve heard some outrageous excuses and while we’re not keen to track down the not so mysterious trail of your missing books, we thought you might like to read each other’s classic tales. The top 5 excuses will be published in the next blog post!

How can you avoid Library fines? The simplest, most appropriate, way is to return your books on time! In the meantime, post us your excuses for not returning your library books by the due-date on the Library Blog  or visit the UKZN Facebook Page!  

1 comment:

  1. My overdue library book story.I had referenced a book that I forgot to take the bibliography off for my reference list. All I knew was that the book was on short-loan. I traced the book and checked the info I needed and returned the book. At least that is what I thought happened. What actually happened is I had the book issued to me and went home with it, used it, placed it somewhere where I couldn't remember only to find it weeks later when I was cleaning my room. Saw it, remembered that it was a short-loan book and after throwing a little tantrum in panic made my way to Life Science Library only to find it was closed. Remembered it was a public holiday then I had to decide whether to bring it later in the week or just put it through the after- hours place. I decided on the latter. The next time I tried to take out a book I found out I was blocked from the library.
    Phuti Mothiba (student)