Over the course of my 30 plus years of service at the Greenburgh Public Library, I sometimes have experienced odd quirks in my job…
Several weeks ago while gathering photos (for my previous blog post I wrote) in the Local History Room, I found a small package that I had received in the mail just over 2 years ago. When I originally opened the package, which was from an address in Santa Ana, CA and postmarked June 3rd, 2014, lo and behold there was a book that belonged to the library.
The first thing I noticed was that the book was very old (copyrighted in 1937) but in relatively good condition. It even had that old book smell to it (yuck!). I turned the book over and opened the back cover to see if there was a due date card or a bar-code. To my surprise, the due date card was from Feb. 19, 1985! Since the book was received in June 2014, the book was over 29 years overdue! For those of you who are wondering what the fine on such an overdue book would be, I calculated the fine on a book that is 10,702 days overdue to be $2,140.40 based on a fine of 20 cents per day. Fortunately, the maximum fine we could have charge this patron is $5.00 because he or she checked it before 2007. The book was already overdue by almost a year and half by the time I started working at the library (I started working here in July 1986)!
The Long Lost GPL Book
The appropriately titled You Can’t Take It with You is a comedic play in three acts by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The play premiered at the Booth Theatre on Broadway on December 14th, 1936 and was produced by Sam H. Harris. It played for 838 performances. The play won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and was adapted for the screen as You Can’t Take It with You, which won the 1938 Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director for Frank Capra. The movie starred Jimmy Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Jean Arthur and Edward Arnold. On a side note, if you’re interested, GPL owns the film version.
The Long Journey Home
One might begin to wonder how a Greenburgh Library book wound up in someone’s house in Santa Ana, California and then returned to the library 29 years later? We will never know.
We do know someone checked it out on January 22, 1985 (at that time and for many years afterwards, books could be checked out for four weeks.) and misplaced this book and it wound up on a 3,000 miles 29 years plus cross country trek.
If you have a book which happens to be overdue by 20 or 30 years, yes – we’ll take it back, no questions asked!!! But if you’d rather see interesting photos, maps, and documents that present the history of Greenburgh and make a connection to our community, then contact me at the library at (914) 721-8225 .