Minnesotan returns library book 47 years past due
A Minnesotan library user returns an overdue book 47 years after borrowing it.
A Minnesotan man entered his neighborhood library 47 years ago and checked out a book, which was later misplaced during a transfer.
Now, nearly fifty years later, he returned the book with a letter of apology and a donation to help pay for a new copy. In a "smart" move, according to local news station WREG Memphis, he returned the book anonymously and via mail, "thereby avoiding the judgmental look of any librarians at the front desk."
The following explanation was contained in the book, "Chilton's Foreign Car Repair Manual," which was borrowed from the Lake Elmo branch of the Washington County Library in 1975.
“In the mid-1970s, I was living in [Lake Elmo] and was working on an old Mercedes Benz. I took out this book for reference. A few months later I moved and apparently, the book got packed up in the move. Forty-seven years later I found it … in a trunk with other interesting things from the ‘70s. It’s a little overdue but I thought you might want it back,” the borrower said in his letter.
“My apologies to anyone in Lake Elmo who was working on an old Benz in the last 47 years. I probably can’t afford the overdue charge but I will send you enough for a new book,” he added.
The contacted librarians expressed their joy at receiving the book back and appeared sufficiently delighted by the gesture. They announced on the library's Facebook page that they would only charge flat replacement rates if a book was lost or damaged, rather than any longer charging daily late fines.
Given that the pages of the returned book were as yellow as grain mustard and the images were still in black and white, the contacted librarians plan to use the money to purchase a more recent edition.