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New York Public Library: I Have A Slightly Overdue Book… Part II: The Return

April 26, 2013 4 comments

New York Public Library 42nd & 5th

People who have read my blog for a while will remember that in June 2011 I wrote about a book taken out of the New York Public Library in 1971 which I found in Toronto. For those who don’t remember the post, here’s a link to it. As I mentioned in the previous post, the book was The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and it was due back at the library on June 23, 1971. I wrote of how I intended to take it back to the Mid-Manhattan Library: Literature & Language Department at 5th Ave & 42nd St in Manhattan the next time I was in New York City but I didn’t foresee it taking this long!  Read more…

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New York Public Library: I Have A Slightly Overdue Book…

June 23, 2011 6 comments

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The other day I found this book – no I am not getting into where – and just by the look of it I knew this tome was OLD.
Yes, it does say it is a book of the Complete Works of William Shakesepeare but I wasn’t ready to believe it was THAT old. But how old was it? And where has it been in its life?

I opened it up to see if I could find a copyright or published on date and lo and behold I found something much, much better!

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As you can see in the picture this book had a computer punch card, wow they were quaint back then! When is “back then”? The due date of the book “June 23, 1971” – is exactly 40 years ago today!

Also if you look to the right of the punch card, on the punch card pocket there’s a note sticker that says a “fine will be charged for each overdue book at the rate of 10 cents per calendar day for adult books…” Given that it has been exactly FORTY YEARS since the book’s due date that’s:

40 (years) * 365 (days in a year) = 14,600 (days this book is overdue).

Multiply 14,600 by $0.10 for each day and you get….
….ONE THOUSAND, FOUR HUNDRED AND SIXTY DOLLARS ($1,460) IN OVERDUE CHARGES!!!

This of course assumes that the fine remained constant which it may not have because I just checked the NYPL website and adult books are charged at $0.25 per day currently.

I have to bring this book back and see what they say to me. Will they try and charge me for the late fees? I’d like to see them try and prove that I – a 30 year old – should be responsible for a book that was due 10 years before I was born! Next time I go to New York City I know I am definitely going to have to stop in by the library. Mid-Manhattan Library: Literature & Language Department at 5th Ave & 42nd St here I come!

(Although according to your website you are now the “Stephen A. Schwarzman Building”.)

I wonder if the book is still on file? I wonder if they’ll even take it back!

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