A book has been returned to a US library almost 100 years late.
A History of the United States, by the American historian Benson Lossing, is thought to have been published in 1881.
It was on loan from St Helena Public Library in California, with a return date of 21 February 1927.
However, it was handed back only a few days ago – making it 96 years overdue. The man who returned the book to the front desk shared no details of himself before leaving.
However, he owed no money to the library as it has not used fines since 2019, according to library director Chris Kreiden.
Had the fine stood, the man would have had to pay $1,756 (£1,413) following the library’s old nickel-a-day penalty (4p).
Inside, the library’s original note remains intact pertinently, saying: “This book may be kept for two weeks” and “injuries to books, and to books lost, must be paid for”.
Library staff now hope to trace down the man to learn how he came across the book.
St Helena Public Library posted the surprising story on its Instagram page. The book, which has tattered pages and a bruised front cover, is displayed in a glass case to prevent further damage.
Ms Kreiden told the St Helena Star newspaper: “It would be cool to put it on display someday but we haven’t figured out how to do that.”
Library staff believe the book to be one of the original 540 volumes available when the Free Public Library building was inaugurated back in 1892.
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