Overdue VHS tape returned to Kansas library after 19 years

Officials at a Kansas library received an unusual surprise when a patron returned a VHS tape that had been checked out 19 years earlier.

The Johnson County Central Resource Library said the tape, Russian film Burnt by the Sun, was checked out on a 7-day loan in 2003.

“It’s a blast for the past for us,” Amy Field, web content developer for the Johnson County Library, told the Shawnee Mission Post. “Sometimes they have old library stickers on them or the old ways of categorizing items, and that’s always fun for librarians to see again.”

It was unclear whether the patron will be fined for the return. The library imposes a 30-cent-per-day fine on late materials, but the fees are capped at $6 per item.

Field said the unusual return should serve as inspiration for any other library patrons to return their long-overdue items.

“In this particular instance with the VHS, we just don’t happen to use that format anymore,” Field said. “But if it’s just an older book, we may be able to put it right back into circulation and that’s always great.”