Yesterday afternoon, right before close of course, I had a patron come to check-out who had an extremely overdue library book. I explained to him the situation and he insisted that he had returned the book (we get this all the time).
Eventually my supervisor also came up to speak with him, and then we soon found out that when an employee had previously told the patron that he could return his books to any public library, he thought it meant that he could return his books to anywhere in the city - so he had put his library book in a mailbox!!
His checkouts for that day were all for EAL/ESL books and he is obviously new to the country, so I'm not surprised at the communication breakdown. But I'm still not sure that he completely understands that the books need to be placed in a library book chute, not just any random chute in the side of a building. I start laughing every time I think about this. You really had to be there for the conversation.
Hopefully one of the employees at the post office will be nice enough to bring the book back to us!