The book returned to the library almost 100 years too late | US News

A book was returned to a US library nearly 100 years late.

American historian Benson Lossing’s A History of the United States is thought to have been published in 1881.

It was on loan from the St Helena Public Library’s Californiawith return date February 21, 1927.

However, it was only returned a few days ago, making it 96 years overdue. The man who returned the book to reception shared no details about himself before walking away.

However, according to library director Chris Kreiden, he owed the library no money as he hasn’t used any fines since 2019.

Had the fine been met, the man would have had to pay $1,756 (£1,413) following the library’s old nickel-a-day (4p) penalty.

Inside remains intact the original note from the library which reads: “This book can be kept for two weeks” and “injuries to books, and lost books, must be paid”.

Library staff are now hoping to track down the man to learn how he came across the book.

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The St. Helena Public Library posted the startling story on its Instagram page. The book, which has tattered pages and a dented cover, is displayed in a glass case to prevent further damage.

Ms Kreiden told the St Helena Star newspaper: ‘It would be nice to showcase this one day but we haven’t figured out how to do it.’

Library staff believe the book is one of 540 original volumes available when the Free Public Library building opened in 1892.


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