British Library Receives Overdue Book in the Mail After 48 Years

Tooting Library in London, United Kingdom, received a long-overdue return when a borrower from Canada sent in a book taken out more than 48 years earlier.

Pictures shared by Wandsworth Libraries show a copy of Richard Brautigan’s A Confederate General from Big Sur along with a punch card with several due dates – the most recent being February 19, 1974.

The envelope, pictured alongside the book, shows that the overdue item was sent from Canada.

Journalists from the BBC were able to track down the borrower of the book: Tony Spence from Port Moody, British Columbia. Spence told the BBC that he had found the overdue loan in a box of magazines.

The library speculated on Twitter that this book could be their longest overdue loan but were not able to confirm this as it pre-dates their computer systems.

However, a spokesperson from the library told the BBC that “under the circumstances we’re waiving the fines.”

Other libraries across the world have been similarly lenient, with one in Ireland waiving an almost €1,000 late fee and one in Louisiana happily taking back an 84-year overdue loan. Credit: Wandsworth Libraries via Storyful

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