Wednesday, April 14, 2021

She booked the library for 63 years. It was time to return it.

Turned into an old children’s hardback mailroom Queens Public Library Recently in Aubrandale, Glenn Rounds ‘book “ol’ Paul, the Mighty woodcutter, was a collection of Paul Bian’s stories. As of the date the card was borrowed inside, it came about 23,000 days late.

Madison, Wis. Daughter of Diamond. It was repatriated after more than 63 years, as well as a $ 500 donation to the Queens Public Library, which exceeded the late fees.

As a girl, Betty was “too shy to go to the library with an overdue book,” she remembered. Therefore, “Ol ‘Paul ended up with him growing up, he began to pursue a career in academia and settled in the Midwest.

In 1957, Betty grew up in Whitstone, Queens at the age of 10. She reads anything she can lay her hands on. The books offered her a secret life in addition to her parents, who were then small-town immigrants called Czechoslovakia, who were less familiar with American culture. “It was really great for me because it meant that I could read whatever I wanted,” Ms. Diamond said, her parents having their own secrets. They spoke to each other in their native tongue in Hungary, while addressing the daughter and her elder brother only in English or Yiddish.

For Betty, going to the library as a child was like “being in a candy store”. This was the background to his grade-school interest in “OL Paul”, which he checked out of the library that spring, with a due date of July 10, 1957.

As the years passed, and Betty became a teenager at Bayside High School, and then a graduate at Queens College, the book just got lost in the reshuffle of her young life. On the odd occasion she came up, she said, she could not bring herself to deal with the issue.

Throwing it was out of the question. Ms. Diamond said, “I am very fond of books and I really respect them.” In English from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and later would be known for teaching literature at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.

“Ol ‘Paul traveled with her wherever she went, she said, leaving for a graduate school in England, when she lived in her childhood bedroom.

As an adult, she has placed the book, among many others collected in her home, sometimes coming across her red spine, searching for something else. But recently, it decided to “make amends”. Ms. Diamond, now 74, called her old library to tell the authorities about her plan and to preserve the book. Then he put it in the mail with “ol ‘Paul” – a note and a check.

Queens Public Library chief librarian Nick Burton said it was not uncommon to return books he had had for a few decades, in between attic purses or a big move. “People have a very hard time throwing books in the garbage,” Mr. Buron said. “I think that says a lot about how much we value the written word as a society.”

Nevertheless, Mr. Baron continued, the situation was unique: “Most librarians will go through many careers before they find a book that is over 63 years old and actually found back by the same person.”

More common is the universal shame, method, overdue of acquiring a borrowed book. “Seanfield” Taken on topicWhen Jerry’s character was pursued by a (fictional) in-house detective from the New York Public Library for a copy of Henry Miller’s “Tropic of Cancer”, which he held for 20 years. Mr Baron said the Queens Library stopped recording books late after seven years, and about 80 million items are generally in circulation within a seven-year period, with 11,000 no longer being tracked.

Mr. Buron said that customers with ridiculously overdue books should not worry too much about late fees. “Our goal is not to make money from our customers,” he said. Since the epidemic began, all the city’s library systems have waived late fees. Mr. Baron said that there has also been a discussion on the abolition of late fees altogether.

In the same month, the Queens Public Library celebrated its 125th anniversary. Like many institutions, the city’s public libraries have suffered financially during the coronovirus outbreak. Much of the Queens Public Library’s budget for 2020 had to be remodeled to buy PPE Mr Buren, he anticipates another difficult year, although he does not see the public library system coming any time soon. “The library is one of the last places that allows everyone to come for free,” he said.

For Ms. Heera, it is bigger than that. “It just seems like a statement of faith in humanity to me,” he said, “just giving books to people and believing them will return them.”

She said she is borrowing books from her public library in Madison. “And they’re not overdoing,” she said. “You can see the record.”

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