Album Returned to Library After Nearly 5 Decades

Library isn't seeking $871.90 fine

Friday, Dec 18, 2009  |  Updated 7:14 AM CDT
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Album Returned to Library After Nearly 5 Decades

Fondulac District Library

An album by 1950s pop singer Julius La Rosa was returned over 47 years overdue and is now part of a display reminding borrowers to get their books back on time or face the new, higher fines.

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You can't blame the person who recently returned an old record to a central Illinois library for slipping quickly out the door. The record was a little late.

OK, a lot late.

Fondulac District Library Director Amy Falasz-Peterson says the album by 1950s pop singer Julius La Rosa was checked on Feb. 12, 1962. That made it 17,438 days -- over 47 years -- overdue when it showed up in mid-November.

"A person came into the library, put the record on the desk and said, 'We don't know what to do with it. A family member passed away, and we found it in their stuff,'" Falasz-Peterson said Wednesday. "Before we could get their name, the person left."

It's been so long since the record was checked out, she said, the library doesn't have any idea who the scofflaw was.  It was checked out during a time when paper records were used, but Falasz-Peterson says the library has been computerized, in some fashion, for about the last 20 years. 

The old black, vinyl disc of "Lipstick And Candy And Rubbersole Shoes" is now so out of place, the library wasn't sure what to do with it.  But it did prompt the library to take a new look at its fine policy.

At the nickel a day the library has charged since 1968, the fine would be a hefty $871.90.  The library won't seek the money, but did raise the fine to a dime per day at a Nov. 30th board meeting.

"We haven't had albums in 13 years. I don't even think we have a record player anymore," she said.

Falasz-Peterson said she doesn't think the library even has a record player anymore (the library hasn't carried albums in about 13 years, she said), so it's become part of a display reminding borrowers to get their books back on time or face the new, higher fines.

"It's never too late," said Falasz-Peterson, motioning to the album.

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