Return Borrowed Books Week

Anyone and everyone who loves to read should probably take the time to celebrate the first week of March as Return Borrowed Books Week. Why? Because it’s very likely that readers have at least one borrowed book in their home that they haven’t returned yet.

Avid readers often get really excited about the books they want to read, so they check out more books than they can digest before the due date. While this is understandable, it does deprive other readers of the chance to enjoy the same book. Therefore, everyone with an overdue book should feel free to celebrate this day and get those books back in circulation.

The History of Return Borrowed Books Week

This holiday was created by Al Kaelin, an L.A. cartoonist. He created this holiday to raise people’s awareness about returning books. He used his third-grade teacher, Sister Geraldine’s, simple request to return a book as inspiration for the holiday.

According to the story, this teacher asked Al to create this holiday in 1953 to encourage people to return books so that these books can be enjoyed by other people. This holiday has been observed for the past few years by libraries all over the United States now.

Facts About Overdue Books

Below are some facts about overdue books that we feel everyone will be able to appreciate. While we were writing this article on Return Borrowed Books Week, we began wondering what some of the biggest library fines were or which books were the most overdue.

When we went looking for the answers to these and other questions, we were blown away by what we found. Below are some of the facts that we discovered and would like to now share with everyone celebrating this particular holiday.

  • In 2002, Emily Canellos-Simms found an overdue copy of Days and Deeds in her mother’s home. It was 47 years overdue, and the fine was $345!
  • A copy of the book Master of Men by E. Phillips Oppenheim was missing from England’s Leicester County Library for 79 years.
  • A copy of Facts I Ought to Know About the Government of My Country was borrowed from a New Bedford Library in 1910 but wasn’t returned until 2009.

Observing Return Borrowed Books Week

Obviously, many people are going to want to observe this holiday by returning their overdue books, even if those books are a lot later than they would like to admit. It’s also a good day for people to partner with their local library to help spread the word about the importance of returning overdue books. People can also spread the word about this holiday by using the hashtag #ReturnBorrowedBooksWeek on social media.

When is it?
This year (2024)
March 3 Sunday
Next year (2025)
March 2 Sunday
Last year (2023)
March 5 Sunday
Education & Reading