March5–11

Return The Borrowed Books Week – March 5-11, 2023

Return the Borrowed Books Week is celebrated in the first week of March as a reminder to return the books you borrowed from the library. It takes place from March 5 to 11 this year. Too often, books are borrowed and hardly returned to their rightful places, the library. No matter the reason you borrowed the book — research, entertainment, or looking for valuable information — books borrowed from the library should be returned so the next person can experience the same joy you did. Read more about how you can pass on the torch of information when you return your borrowed books.

History of Return The Borrowed Books Week

A notable creative director and cartoonist in the Los Angeles region, Al Kaelin founded Return the Borrowed Books Week to raise awareness about the importance of returning borrowed books. A request from his third-grade teacher, Sister Geraldine, at the Holy Cross School served as the primary source of inspiration for the holiday celebration.

According to an obituary published in the Pasadena Star-News in 2006, he was approached by Sister Geraldine, who was the former librarian at St. Mary’s Hospital at the time. As a former librarian herself, Sister Geraldine inspired him when she requested in 1953 that he start the holiday to encourage those in the public and private libraries to return the books they have taken out so that other people can enjoy the same feelings they got when reading the book.

Libraries all over the country promote this holiday to encourage their members to return any borrowed books to their shelves to preserve the history of the collection and allow others to enjoy the same books they enjoyed. It is a great initiative so that libraries are stocked with books at all times and people can go there to get important information. Sometimes, books get forgotten but this is a reminder that the book was useful to you and can be as useful to another person.

Return The Borrowed Books Week timeline

1731
The First Lending Library

On July 1, the first lending library is formed after 50 founding stakeholders pooled 40 shillings and agreed to pay 10 shillings per annum thereafter.

1743
The Oldest Library Still in Existence

In Darby, Pennsylvania, the oldest public library still in continued service is established.

1833
The First Tax-Supported Public Library

In New Hampshire, the world’s first free public library supported by tax is established.

1953
The Week is Established

Al Kaelin creates Return the Borrowed Books Week.

Return The Borrowed Books Week FAQs

How many weeks can a book borrowed from the library be kept?

Typically, a book can be kept for three weeks, although certain books can only be kept for a week so that others have the opportunity to read them.

What is the official word used when borrowing a book from the library?

It is called loaning a book.

What is a lending library?

A lending library is a library where people can lend books from, take them home, and return them at a later time.

Return The Borrowed Books Week Activities

  1. Return your borrowed books

    A good way to celebrate is by returning books you borrowed to the library so other people can gain from the book the way you did. Search to see if you have any books with you, and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

  2. Partner with your local library

    You can partner with your local library to provide support and help spread the word about returning borrowed books. You can also help them hang posters around your school, the library, or town in places where people can see them easily.

  3. Spread the word

    Help spread the word about Returning Your Borrowed Books week. Tell as many people as you can and post something to your social media accounts about the day.

5 Fun Facts About Libraries

  1. 122 years overdue

    A library book that was overdue for 122 years was eventually returned.

  2. Liberian hand

    This was a style of handwriting used by librarians as it was believed legible handwriting was mandatory for card catalogs.

  3. No wrong time for returns

    There is no such thing as too late when it comes to returning a book.

  4. The most stolen books

    The most stolen books from public libraries are the “Bible” and the “Guinness Book of World Records.”

  5. The largest library

    The Library of Congress is the biggest in the world.

Why We Love Return The Borrowed Books Week

  1. Books are returned

    The borrowed books are returned and reunited with other books. The library becomes stocked with books that were not returned and other people can have a chance to borrow those books.

  2. Libraries remain open

    Imagine all the books in a library are borrowed and you walk in to see no books, you will be confused because libraries are just random buildings and not fortresses of knowledge and insight. Returning your borrowed books helps keep libraries open.

  3. Books for future generations

    By returning books, future generations can read all the literary books available from Shakespeare to Dickens, to new authors springing up. History is also preserved in books so readers can get a glimpse into what the past was like.

Return The Borrowed Books Week dates

YearDateDay
2022March 6Sunday
2023March 5Sunday
2024March 3Sunday
2025March 2Sunday
2026March 1Sunday

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