That’s a lot of late fees — Overdue library book returned 66 years later

Posted at 12:22 PM, Nov 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-02 12:22:23-04

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- What do you do when a library book is overdue? Librarians are cluing in readers after a book was returned exactly 66 years later.

"There's an urban legend that there are library police that will come and get you if you keep books too long," Ron Block, branch manager of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, told WJW.

That tale is purely fiction, but Block says one very real dilemma is what becomes of the late fee.

"We've calculated it to be over $2,364 dollars, so it was pretty big," said Block.

The children's book, "Heroes of the Middle Ages," was returned via the book drop-off bin outside the library on October 26, the same day the original due date was stamped in the library sleeve.

Overdue library book returned exactly 66 years later

Tracking down the person who returned it decades later is nearly impossible. The book is older than the library's computer system which started in the 1980s.

"We had a lot of fun with it," said children's services librarian, Krista Tokarz. "...There's no judgment, no guilt, no nothing, we just like having our books returned even if it's 66 years later."

The book is visibly worn; the pages yellow, but overall in fairly good condition.

"I'm not sure what's going to happen to the book," said Block. "We may open a little museum for things that have been returned very, very late."

Block is eager to find the person who returned the book all these years later and adds not to worry about the late fee; every penny will be waived.