Return that library book!
...National Return Borrowed Book Week” appropriately and clear their consciences, it would also make her a very satisfied librarian.
“I’m retiring this year,” said Drees. “And it would be kind of nice to get all the overdue books back. That would make me happy.”
Drees said the Tahlequah library has never had anyone return a 47-year-late book, but one was brought back after about 12 years.
“We were already doing automated checkout when they brought it back,” she said. “That one had been checked out from the old Carnegie Building, before we had automated checkout. I was just amazed someone would bring it back, but I guess they’d found it in their parent’s things.”
Over the years, Drees has heard a lot of excuses for not returning library books, but she has noticed some similarities among all of them.
“I’ve heard ‘I had a baby,’ ‘I was out of town,’ ‘It was snowing,’” she recited. “But people never say, ‘I forgot.’ It’s always something else or someone else that kept them from returning a book.”
But Drees does understand the plight of all those library patrons who fail to return books.
“I actually had a library book for about a year and a half,” she admitted. “I honestly thought I had returned it.”
As it turned out, Drees had accidentally placed the book in a basket of freshly ironed clothes, but didn’t wear any of those clothes for a long time.
For the record, she did return the book eventually.
Which is more than what some borrowers can say.
“Some people keep them forever; we never get them back,” said Steve Shelton, library technology specialist at the Tahlequah Public Library and manager of the Hulbert Public Library. “Certain books just tend to disappear, like computer books and books on witchcraft.”
Tahlequah librarian Lyn Arter agreed some books do seem to be more tempting to book thieves – or long-term borrowers, to be a little more polite about it – than others....