Vintage | Hidden Gems

Overdue Library Book Returned 52 Years Later with an Apology Note

I think we have all had overdue library books at one point or another. Whether we are a week late, a month or even find a library book a year later hidden underneath the couch, things understandably get misplaced.

The Noah Webster Library in West Hartford, Connecticut got a surprise they didn't expect when they cleaned out the book drop last week.

A copy of the book Who Has Seen The Wind, by W.O. Mitchell originally due on September 29, 1965 lay inside the return slot.

Attached to the copy of a book was a sticky note reading, "Returning this book to you after too many years. Sorry it has taken so long.”

The library's director, Martha Church, doesn't know who returned the weathered book after being checked out 52 years earlier.

“A staff member brought it to me because she wasn’t sure what to do with it,” Church told ABC News of the mysterious return. “I said, ‘Well why don’t you give it to me?' With the note taped to the front, that’s kind of charming. I brought it upstairs to the staff who work on our Facebook page and website and asked them if we could do something cute with it. It’s the one thing we’ve ever posted to Facebook that’s gotten this much attention.”

Thank you to whomever dropped this in our Book Drop this morning! Note reads "Returning this book to you after too many...

Posted by West Hartford Libraries on lunes, 5 de junio de 2017

Martha has worked at the library for 40 years and this is the longest she has seen a book go missing.

“People do return long overdue books, and that happens with some regularity. But 52 years is probably a record,” she explained. “I don’t recall in all my time here that we’ve come across that. It was due back to us in September of ’65 so it was most likely checked out in August—a beach read, possibly.”

Now that the book has been added back to the shelves of the library, it can be read by the community of West Hardford including Martha, who hasn't read the book before, but now plans to.

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