Overdue Books Return —51 Years Late

By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2009 2:32 PM CST
A money order for $1,000 accompanied the overdue books--that's a lot of pennies.   (?mastermaq)

(Newser) – An Arizona high school librarian got the surprise of her career when she opened a package and found a letter from a former student, two books checked out in 1958—and a money order for $1,000 to cover the overdue-book fines. The books, Community of Living Things: Forests and Woodlands and Field and Meadows, accidentally moved to Colorado with the student's family when they left Phoenix suddenly. The library will put them on display with the letter.

The anonymous benefactor, self-identified only as "almost a graduate of Camelback High," didn't get a diploma but did learn math: "They calculated the overdue book fees at two cents a day for the past 51 years and came up with $745," the librarian tells ABC15 News, adding, "The funny thing is, I don't think we ever had overdue fees."