Paddington Library staff are used to receiving and dealing with overdue items of varying degrees of ‘lateness’ but it came as a bit of a surprise when we received in the post a Novello’s original Octavo Edition of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas which was clearly borrowed from the library before computerisation (c. 1985).
Inside the front cover an extract from the then rules and regulation states in unequivocal terms…
‘Every book borrowed shall be returned within FOURTEEN DAYS, in default the Borrower or his Guarantor shall pay a fine of one half-penny per day…’
It goes on to say, rather uncomfortably:
‘In cases where infectious or contagious disease has broken out in the Borrower’s house after books have been borrowed, the books must NOT be returned to the Library, but be delivered by hand to the Medical officer of Health at the Town hall, Paddington Green.’
The music score was found ‘in a recent gift’ handed in to the Royal Academy of Music, who kindly posted it back to Paddington Library after its lengthy sojourn.