Returned library book could be up to 100 years overdue

Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Officials at an Ontario library said a book recently dropped into its return bin is believed to be up to 100 years overdue.

The Fergus Library said a copy of Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens was recently dropped into the book return bin by an anonymous person.


Library officials said they don't have records of the book, but it bears a Fergus Library name plate inside the cover, indicating it might have been from the facility's original collection when it opened in the 1900s.

Officials said they aren't sure of when the book was last checked out.

"We're guessing from 100 to maybe 50 years ago," chief librarian Rebecca Hine told CTV News.

Hine said there are other clues to be found in the book.

"Right on the name plate in the book, it does say 'two cents a day,'" Hine said. "I did a little bit of research and it looks like probably around 1940 that was the going rate."

Hine said if the book was checked out in 1941, it would have accrued late fees of about $580 at the two-cents-per-day rate.


Officials said they have no intention of trying to find the person who checked the book out to charge fees.

The book will be put on display to celebrate the library's history, officials said.

"It's really cool to have that sort of connection to the past and that connection to the community," branch supervisor Kirstin Maki said.

"Lots of us book nerds think it's really neat to have an old book like that around and imagine who has read it," Maki said.

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