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Library Book Returned 76 Years Late

Library Book Returned 76 Years Late

Posted - Aug. 1, 2003 at 9:29 p.m.



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Keith McCord ReportingIt's happened to all of us probably -- we check out a library book, and then forget about it, and return it late. Tonight we have a story of books returned 76 years late!

It's not often that you have a bunch of news photographers and reporters waiting at the front door of a library. But they were there this morning, waiting for the return of two very long overdue library books to the Salt Lake City Main Library.

Mildred Pugmire checked out two books, "Little Masterpieces" by Charles Lamb; and "The American College", by William Crowford, when she was a 16-year old. The due date was May 20th, 1927. Mildred eventually moved to southern California, and when she died two years ago her family began going through her belongings.

Nancy Londelius: "So we were going through some books. And we found these and went oh my gosh!"

Nancy Londelius e-mailed the library and said she would return the books when she came to Salt Lake on vacation. But, oh yeah, there's that little matter of the late fee. At the current rate of 10-cents per day, for 76-years…

Ginny McOmber, Librarian: "I told them that the fines would probably be, for both books, around 5,000 dollars. But the library has a policy of charging only a maximum of 4-dollars per book."

Ah, but more good news here; because of Nancy's honesty, the library waived all fines.

The books are in pretty good shape, all in all, but the library doesn't know how valuable they might be.

Nancy: "We've seen stories where they've been overdue for 10 years or something, but from 1927? We thought it might be kind of a kick, and maybe the librarian would get a kick out of it!”

Library employees believe these are the -longest overdue books ever returned!

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