Librarians are left stunned after book was returned 42 YEARS past its due date – with £10 and an apology
- Children’s book taken out from library in Henleaze, Bristol returned 42 years late
- The Cherrys and the Double Arrow was part of a series by William Matthew Scott
- Borrower could have been fined more than £2,000 based on a rate of 15p a day
- But fines only go up to £5.70 and the borrower gave £10 and a card to say sorry
A library book has been returned 42 years late along with two £5 notes and an apology.
The children’s title was taken out from a library in Henleaze, Bristol before Christmas in 1976 and was due back on January 5, 1977.
But it was never returned and began racking up overdue fines – while missing for a staggering 15,644 days.
The library book, above, accompanied by a note which reads: ‘Recently discovered in my parents’ garage. Thought you should have it back, with £10 towards fines/replacement cost, many apologies’. The book was finally returned after 42 years
The book – The Cherrys and the Double Arrow – was finally given back recently and was left with an apologetic message.
It read: ‘Recently found in my parents’ garage. Thought you should have it back with £10 towards fines/replacement cost. Many apologies.’
Library staff are are now appealing for the anonymous borrower to come in and own up – and they’ve promised there won’t be a fine.
Hayley Cantle, of Bristol Libraries, said: ‘We’d love to know who it was who brought it in.
‘There’s no name on the note, and there’s no way of knowing who it was. We all just thought it was really sweet, and lovely to return it now.
‘It’s a really old-fashioned book, it smelled old and had the classic old binding, and was a real bit of nostalgia for us.
‘There was a time when there would have been a 20p postage fine for an overdue item, but our policy now is for there to be no overdue fines for younger members, so the £10 is very welcome.’
The children’s title was taken out from a library in Henleaze, Bristol before Christmas in 1976 and was due back on January 5, 1977. But it was never returned and began racking up overdue fines – while missing for a staggering 15,644 days
If the local council worked it out based on the current level of fines – at 15p a day – the book borrower could fear they would be liable for a fine of £2,346.60.
However, the charge only increases to a maximum of £5.40 per book and – because of the policy not to charge overdue fines for young library members – it’s likely there would be no outstanding fine anyway.
The money has been donated to a local library group but the book itself will be archived.
Hayley added: ‘It’s a 1970s reprint, so isn’t really a collectors item. It’s not really in good enough condition to go back on the shelves and we’ve asked if it could be added to our archives.’
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