Rare book returned to Irish library almost 82 years overdue

By Annie Martin
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May 21 (UPI) -- An Irish library was surprised after a rare book was returned 80 years past its due date.

The Donegal County Library confirmed Sunday a copy of the Annie M.P. Smithson book The White Owl was returned to its Gaoth Dobhair location Friday, nearly 82 years after it was checked out in 1937.


The Donegal County Library shared photos of the book and its library stamp on Twitter. The book was checked out July 23, 1937.

"Better late than never!! It took nearly 82 years, but the book 'The White Owl' by Annie M.P. Smithson finally found its way back home to Donegal Library Services. The book was returned to Leabharlann Phobail Ghaoth Dobhair on Friday morning after being on loan since 1937," the post reads.


The Irish Mirror said relatives of the person who borrowed the book found it during a house clearance at their home in Falcarragh. The book was supposed to be due 14 days after its check-out date.

Irish public libraries ended overdue book fines in January. The average overdue fee was 5 cents per day, meaning the fee for The White Owl would have been around €1,280, or about $1,428.

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