It may have happened on April Fool’s Day, but an attempted robbery at the Mobile Public Library was no joke.

Mobile police said 45-year-old Walter Jeznach walked into the library’s main branch at 701 Government St. and handed a note to a librarian demanding money from the cash register. When the librarian told Jeznach there was no money in the cash register he fled and was apprehended “a short distance from the library building,” said Terence Perkins, MPD public information officer.

“We thought it was an April Fool’s prank,” Perkins said.

Jeznach was charged with robbery in the third degree, Perkins said.

Library spokeswoman Amber Guy said there is never much money in the cash drawer at any one time. She said the only money in there comes from fines and the 75 cents they charge for DVD rentals.

“I have no idea how much money is in there on any given day,” she said. “I know it’s never very much.”

Guy said the employee who took the note was working the circulation desk at the time and thought the robbery attempt was a prank.

“Frankly with it being April 1, she thought it was a joke,” Guy said.

The employee in question had a regularly scheduled day off Wednesday in preparation for the library’s annual book sale set to take place this weekend at the Mobile Civic Center. Guy said the book sale will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.