Library Book Returned 55 Years Late

By Jennifer Abbey

Feb 6, 2013 12:28pm

What is the late fee on a library book that is 55 years over due?

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(New York Public Library)

A copy of “Fire of Francis Xavier” was returned to the Fort Washington branch of the New York Public Library Monday, Amy Geduldig, public relations manager for the library system told ABCNews.com. The last check out date on the book’s library card says April 10, 1958.

RELATED: Rare Book Returned to Library 78 Years Late

The book arrived in the mail with $100 check inside.  The library does not know who returned the book and they had no idea it was missing. There was no note inside the package. And Geduldig won’t say who signed the check.

“The check is a very kind gesture,” Geduldig said.

The nature of the book may indicate why the person possibly had a pang of conscious and returned the book with a check. The book by the Rev. Arthur R. McGratty, S.J. is about St. Francis Xavier, a co-founder of the Jesuits and one of the Catholic church’s most traveled missionaries.

The library’s current late fee for hardcover books is 25 cents per day. For a book that’s 55 years over due, the charge would be a whopping $5, 018.75. But Geduldig  said the maximum fine for the late book would be the cost of the book so the $100 more than covers the charges.

RELATED: Return Library Books or Else: Borrowers Arrested for Failing to Return Overdue Books, DVDs

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