Learn about Return Borrowed Books Week

As a kid, I lived almost entirely inside books, and eventually, the books started returning the favor. A lot of my internal world feels like an anthology or a library. It’s eclectic and disorganized, but I can browse in it, and that hugely shapes both what and how I write.

Kathryn Schulz

Library books can be a great source for valuable information and insight into whatever topic you are interested in. However, for some who enjoy researching and want to find that specific book, many times that book will not be available because some took out that book and never returned it.

As a problem that libraries face, Return Borrowed Books Week can be a chance for people to do good for their local libraries by returning valuable history back where it belongs.

History of Return Borrowed Books Week

Return the Borrowed Books Week was created by Al Kaelin, a prominent art director, and cartoonist in the Los Angeles area. The inspiration for the holiday mostly began as a request from his 3rd-grade teacher, Sister Geraldine, at the Holy Cross School.

According to a 2006 obituary in the Pasadena Star-News, Sister Geraldine was requested of him back in 1953, who was then the librarian at St. Mary’s Hospital at the time. His teacher hoped for him to start this holiday to help encourage those in public and private libraries to return books that have been taken out so that others may also be able to enjoy those same experiences.

The event appears in the annual Chase’s Calendar of Events publication. The Chase Calendar of Events is a reference source for all the important dates and holidays throughout each year and was created by both William and Harrison Chase in 1957.

This holiday is advertised by libraries all across the country to encourage its members to return any borrowed books to their shelves so they can maintain the history and let others enjoy those same books.

How to Celebrate Return Borrowed Books Week

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate this holiday, you can start by talking with your local librarian about how they could organize and uphold Return Borrowed Books Week to its visitors.

If you want to help with this holiday, start by sharing this holiday through social media using the hashtag #ReturnBorrowedBooksWeek and seeing if you have any books of your own that you can return.

Librarians can place posters on their bullet boards, advertise on social media, and teach their community about how important preserving books can be for the future.