Someone borrowed “Wilderness Living” from the Union Bay library in 1977. The book was returned to the Courtenay Library in March 2019… more than 42 years after its due date. Back in 1977, library books carried time-stamp cards in an inner pocket, advising customers as to when the book was due. The pink slip on the right is the time-stamp card that was still in the book when it was returned. Photos via Facebook

Book returned to B.C. library 42 years overdue

If it weren’t for the library’s $10 cap, the person would have owed $4599 in overdue fines

On Monday, a book was returned to the Courtenay library. This is pretty normal for the branch, except that the book in question was 42 years overdue.

Titled “Wildnerness Living” by Berndt Berglund, the book’s bright pink time-stamp card shows it was originally checked out from the Union Bay branch in early 1977, but was finally returned anonymously on Monday in the library’s drop box.

“It’s really a mystery as to where the book was for the last 42 years,” said David Carson, director of corporate communications and strategic initiatives with Vancouver Island Regional Libraries.

Whoever checked out this book all those years ago is lucky the library has a $10 cap on overdue book fines, otherwise they would have been looking at a $4599 fine.

But despite its long time away from home, the book is in excellent shape.

“The book is in great condition after 42 years. It smells good, its corners are crisp, its pages are nice and sharp,” said Carson. “It’s in really good shape.”

While the library is happy about the return of the long lost book, they haven’t yet decided whether to put it back in rotation. However, Carson said he wouldn’t be surprised if the demand for Berglund’s wilderness guide rises and it finds its way back onto library shelves.

This unusual story has also sparked a competition at the library. In a Facebook post, VIRL is asking the public to come up with their own story of where the book has been for the last 42 years and add it to the comments. The contest is available on every Facebook page for each of the 39 branches across Vancouver Island.

On Monday, three random winners will be selected and will receive a VIRL book bag. The contest closes Sunday at 8 p.m.


jolene.rudisuela@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay wins ‘Most Outstanding School’ award

B.C. School Sports will present school with banner, add GTN to plaque as winners of 2019-2020 year

‘A time of transition:’ CHN looking to release next steps of pandemic response this week

State of local emergency is in effect; Gaagwiis says CHN developing indicators to guide next steps

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach urges feds to compensate airline passengers

Letter to transport minister touches on Northwest B.C. tourism operators impacted by COVID-19

Two new bridges to be built along Highway 16 between Port Clements, Tlell

Ministry of Transportation says $5.4-million project expected to be complete in fall 2020

‘Now Is the Time’ doc will start streaming on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Film featuring Haida carver Robert Davidson will launch June 21 for free on NFB website

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

B.C. NDP says Andrew Wilkinson is wrong about federal link

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

Most Read