New York library book returned after 90 years of loan

The chances are most of us who enjoy reading have gone to a library before, read a few books, and maybe even borrowed some and took them with us home, but the chances are none of us returned a book 90 years late.

A book’s long and tardy return to the Larchmont Public Library in New York made news recently. The book, which was borrowed 90 years ago, was mailed back to the library by Joanie Morgan after finding it amidst her stepfather’s belongings. The library, surprisingly, only charged a $5 late fee instead of the cost of the book.

The book’s long absence made it the longest book checkout Larchmont Library had ever experienced since it opened its doors in 1926.

According to Larchmont librarian, Carolyn Cunningham, the man who borrowed the book lived in the village at that time.



Cunningham admitted that the book’s recovery came as a huge surprise to the library. In her words, “It was a big surprise for us”.

She further revealed that when Joanie Morgan called the library in July so the book would be returned, Cunningham initially thought this was a call to the wrong library.

It appears that Morgan’s stepfather, Jimmy, encouraged his children to read and was an ardent reader himself. He most likely borrowed books from the Larchmont Public Library regularly, which may explain how the book disappeared for such a long time without creating any alarm.



In explaining the library’s decision to charge only a small late fee, a post on the library’s Facebook page stated that patrons are billed 20 cents per day when a book is late, with the maximum penalty being $5.

However, the post went further to clarify that if a book is not returned to the library after 30 days, the patron would be charged the initial cost of the book. Once the book is returned, however, the maximum charge of $5 will be implemented.

Libraries tend to be a hub for literary enthusiasts, researchers, and curious minds seeking various resources, so it’s always nice to see people return books that were borrowed since someone else could read them.

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