Top 5 This Week

Related Posts

What a long, strange trip it’s been for this psychedelic library book returned 13,437 days late

What a long, strange trip it’s been for one very overdue High Plains Library District book — 36 years, 9 months and 13 days, to be exact.

“Psychedelics” by Bernard Aaronson and Humphry Osmond — a 1970 dispatch that includes first-hand reports of psychedelic experiences, scientific theories and the sociology of drugs — was due back to the Weld County Library in Greeley on May 30, 1987.

When Kaylee Miller, a library materials supervisor with the High Plains Library District in Weld County, saw a book returned to the drive-up book drop at the Riverside Library and Cultural Center in Evans last week, she suspected it was long overdue.

Not only was the book worse for wear, but it was stamped as a book from the Weld County Library, indicating it was checked out before the library district formed in 2008.

The book was so old, it was no longer in the district’s system, which has long since abandoned the stamping method in favor of barcode checkouts, Miller said.

Miller had no way of knowing who checked out the item, but even if she did, the unpunctual patron is in luck. The High Plains Library District stopped charging late fines a few years ago. The district now only charges the price of the book if it’s returned 42 days after its due date, Miller said.

The district used to charge 10 cents a day per overdue item, meaning “Psychedelics” would have racked up more than $1,300 in fines, Miller said.

“Even if we did still charge, I wouldn’t have charged them because it’s such a funny story,” Miller said. “It was such a neat find and a fun way to look back at our library history, and I rather enjoyed the cheeky note the patron left.”

The returned copy features a psychedelic cover design atop a dinged-up blue background with frayed corners and a peeling spine. That copy is headed for an archive, library officials said, but a different copy is attainable through a catalog of nearly 200 academic, public and special libraries in Colorado and Wyoming.

“If anyone can beat the current record of 13,437 days, I’m offering you total amnesty for the safe return of your items,” library officials wrote in a Facebook post Monday about the belated return. “Although I’m not encouraging you to check something out TODAY and return late enough to beat the record, which would be… January 1st, 2061. We’ll be closed New Year’s Day. Probably. Maybe. By 2061, who knows?”

While the culprit has not been identified, we do know one thing about them: They have a sense of humor.

A sticky note left inside the book read, “Sorry so late!! It’s been a long, strange trip!!”

“Far be it from us to suggest that a book on psychedelics may, MAY, have affected someone’s perception of time,” library officials wrote on Facebook.

Get more Colorado news by signing up for our daily Your Morning Dozen email newsletter.

Popular Articles