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Well over a half-century beyond its original checkout date – 67 years, to be exact – a book was given back to a local library in New Zealand.
In 1948, a girl checked out the book “Myths and Legends Of Maoriland” by author AW Reed from the Epson Community Library.
Just this past Thursday, the girl – who is now a mature woman – finally returned her copy and asked how much she owed in overdue fees. The librarian on duty didn’t pull any punches, informing her that in literal terms, the fee would be equal to $17,000.
Fortunately, the librarian chose to disregard the accrued library fees. When the book was originally checked out, costs were only three pence for the first week of rental, and then a penny per day for each day that followed. Nevertheless, the Epson Community Library announced to Facebook that they wouldn’t think of charging her.
According to a statement by librarian Zoe Cornelius in The Guardian, the lady “had been meaning to return it for years” after checking it out as a child. She admitted being embarrassed about keeping it so long, but told the librarian that “she had read and enjoyed the book many times over the decades,” so it was at least comforting to know that the novel “had been in a good home and loved.”
As it turns out, the woman had left her native Auckland many years ago, but happened to be in the area visiting her family when she brought back the book.
The Auckland Library currently owns three versions of Myths and Legends of Maoriland, and none of them may be removed from the building. Cornelius says that the newly returned copy will probably be added to the library’s section for special collections, where it will never again be eligible for checkout.
Featured image via Must Be This Tall To Ride