Thursday, May 20, 2010

George Washington's library book returned 221 years late

The below article was posted on Yahoo News today and please note that the Burbank Public Library is much more understanding with you, our patrons, as we don't keep charging overdue fines for one year, let along 221 years. All of our overdue fines cap out at a maximum of $10.00 for most items, $5.00 on others. So if you are worrying that you'll be treated like George Washington, please relax, we'll treat you better than what George Washington gets in New York and please do return the items for others to use!

If you have questions regarding overdue library materials please call:

Central Library - 818-238-5600

Buena Vista Branch Library - 818-238-5620

Northwest Branch Libary - 818-238-5640

Thu May 20, 2:54 am ET
NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – A library book borrowed by the first U.S. president, George Washington, has been returned to a New York City's oldest library, 221 years late.

Washington checked out the book from the New York Society Library at a time when the library shared a building with the federal government in lower Manhattan.

The library said in a statement that its borrowing records, or charging ledger, showed Washington took out "The Law of Nations" by Emer de Vattel on October 5, 1789.

The book was not returned, nor any overdue book fine paid -- with the overdue fee now calculated at about $300,000 (208,877 pounds).

The missing book came to light when the New York Society Library was restoring its 1789-1792 charging ledger, which features the borrowing history of Washington, John Adams, John Jay, Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton, George Clinton, and others.

The library conducted an inventory of books mentioned in the ledger and confirmed the book checked out by Washington was still missing.

But the missing book was kept secret for years until it became public recently in an article in The New York Daily News, the library said in a statement.

"A few days after learning of the situation, staff at Washington's home in Virginia, Mount Vernon, offered to replace Vattel's "Law of Nations" with another copy of the same edition," the library said in a statement.

To mark the occasion the library hosted a ceremony on May 19 at which the errant volume was presented.

(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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