From time to time a patron will check a book or DVD out of the library where I work and misplace it. After we extend the due date to give them a little extra time to search, they’ll usually find the missing item under a car seat or behind the book shelf. But library material can turn up in surprising places. After a patron returned a long overdue DVD that she’d found underneath her microwave, I logged onto Facebook and asked my fellow librarians: “What’s the oddest place a patron has ever found a misplaced library book or DVD?”

As a public service, I’ve decided to share some of their responses with the library-going public:

A patron just found an overdue CD under the spare tire in her trunk.

I once paid for a lost paperback picture book, then found it years later when we moved the bookshelf in my son’s room when we painted the walls.

One of our patrons just found a long overdue book in his daschund’s toy box.

Just got a letter from a patron telling us that she’d found a lost copy of “Finding Dory” in a potted plant.

I once found an overdue library book under my grandson’s mattress. He loved the book and didn’t want to give it up.

As a parent who often hides DVDs from her toddler, I can attest to the fact that “under the microwave” is not a weird place to find, say, “Thomas The Tank Engine.”

We have a teenage patron who hid a bunch of “Vampire” TV show DVDs that her mother had forbidden her to check out in a dresser drawer and then forgot about them. The mom was not happy about paying THAT hefty fine.

When we replaced our refrigerator, we found a children’s book that the cat had apparently batted underneath it to join her stash of rubber bands and milk jar rings.

Mom: “I though we already returned that.”
Kid: “No, it’s in the Barbie house.”

Inside a recliner!

I have a friend who puts library books in her deep freeze to “kill the bedbugs” and has been known to forget them there.

A patron was having some work done on her house. When they opened up one of the walls, they found a stack of picture books that had been accidentally dry walled over during a previous renovation.

I grew up on a farm and once left a library book tucked into a little nook in the goat milking stand. We discovered it there later, months past its due date.

On top of a ceiling fan blade! The patron, a college student, thinks that a friend probably hid it there as a joke. He found it months later when he turned on the fan and the book went flying.

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  • Kelly Siderio December 5, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Once I borrowed a library boook with my moms card and then went to college. We realized years later that it was her missing library book.

  • Gail Willis December 2, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Years ago when I worked for Seattle Public Library’s H.E.L.P. Project doing outreach service to retirement homes, nursing homes, sheltered workshops, group homes for those with disabilities we got a call from the local Goodwill Industries saying that if we would send one of our vans they had a lot of library books that had come to them as donations to the thrift stores. We got boxes & boxes–some from our library system and several from other nearby libraries. The two most interesting were a book checked out of the Base Library at Pearl Harbor marked due December 7, 1941 and one that had been checked out from my own high school by a friend of my father (they also attended that school) due in 1930.

  • Mickey December 2, 2016 at 11:18 am

    I had a false memory of returning two books that I later found next to the front door in a box. I was absolutely, positively certain I dropped them into the book chute. I remembered it like a film clip. My library people kindly instituted a search for them. And then I found them while looking for something else. Now my sister has ‘lost’ a book from the library that I, foolishly, checked out for her. She thought I took it. Which I would not without telling her, I’m taking this back to the library, are you done with it? She’s still looking. I’d better go call her to ask if it’s turned up. If it hasn’t, I’ll suggest a grandchild be asked to assist. The grandchildren are 18, 13, and 10. Sigh. What a world. Hugs, Roz.

    • roz warren December 2, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Always love you responses, Mickey. You’re the best.

  • Cathy Sikorski December 2, 2016 at 9:15 am

    This is why I’ve become a big fan of my on-line library. If I forget to return an ebook, they just take it back!!!