Patron Surprises Library With 84-Year-Old Find

His mom took out a book in 1934 and never returned it
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2018 8:00 AM CDT
Updated Oct 6, 2018 8:15 AM CDT
Patron Surprises Library With 84-Year-Old Find
"Better late than never, right?"   (Getty Images/Tero Vesalainen)

If you've been on the waiting list to take Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology out of the Shreve Memorial Library, you're now in luck. That's because a copy that's been missing for 84 years from the library in Shreveport, La., has finally been returned, the Shreveport Times reports. "Better late than never, right?" the library posted on its Facebook page, noting that a patron brought the book back Monday. It turns out his mom had taken the book out in 1934, when she was 11 years old. Library staffer Jackie Morales tells CNN the man found the book while cleaning out his parents' home.

"He was surprised that [his mom] still had it in her possession," Morales says. "She was very responsible." On paper, a book that was overdue for more than eight decades would spur a charge of more than $1,500—based on the $0.05-per-day late fine—but $3 is the set maximum, and the library didn't even make the man pay that. You'll have to jump back on the waiting list for Spoon River after all, though (and hope the library has more copies): Morales says the binding on the book, which is a first edition, is falling apart, so they won't be putting it back on the shelf. (Read more library stories.)

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