Century-overdue library book is finally returned

19 November 2023, 07:14

Famous Composers recently returned to the library in St Paul
Century Overdue Library Book. Picture: PA

Titled Famous Composers and featuring the likes of Bach and Mozart, the tome turned up while someone was sorting through a relative’s belongings.

A library book that is more than a century overdue has finally been returned in St Paul, Minnesota.

Titled Famous Composers and featuring the likes of Bach and Mozart, the tome turned up while someone was sorting through a relative’s belongings.

The St Paul Public Library checkout slip shows it was last borrowed in 1919, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

St Paul mayor Melvin Carter joked in a tweet on Saturday that there would be no fine.

The library, like many across the country, stopped charging late fees in 2019.

The future of the book is unsure.

John Larson, the St Paul Public Library’s digital library co-ordinator, said he doubts it will go back into circulation because of its delicate condition, but expected the library to hang on to it.

“It has reached a point where it’s not just an old book, it’s an artefact. It has a little bit of history to it,” he said.

Mr Larson said in his 25 years working for the library it was the oldest book he has ever seen returned.

“There’s been a time or two when something has come back and maybe it has been checked out for 20 or 30 years, but nothing where it looks like it has been out for some 100 years,” he said.

By Press Association

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