For him that stealeth a Book from this Library, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with Palsy, and all his Members blasted. Let him languish in Pain crying aloud for Mercy and let there be no sur-cease to his Agony till he sink in Dissolution. Let Bookworms gnaw his Entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not, and when at last he goeth to his final Punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him for ever and aye.
–Curse against book stealers, Monastery of San Pedro, Barcelona
It seems these monks didn’t mess around with library fines, opting instead to get downright medieval, which seems appropriate as they were medieval monks and all.
When I googled the curse itself searching for a source, I found it included in an interesting list of quotes about libraries and librarians on the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions website.
I think I’ll have to post a copy over the library in my classroom.