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'Doctor Doolittle' returned to Canadian library was 82 years overdue

Jan. 29 (UPI) -- A Nova Scotia, Canada, library said a book was returned 82 years overdue after a homeowner found it stashed away in his attic.

The Cape Breton Regional Library said the book, The Adventures of Doctor Dolittle, by Hugh Lofting, was returned to the McConnell Sydney Library 82 years after it was checked out from the Sydney Public Library.

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The book was returned by Jordan Muscyscyn, a Sydney man who found it while renovating his century-old home.

"We were putting a fan in our bathroom, so we had to cut a hole through our roof and while we were up in the attic, we found a bunch of old books," Musycsyn told CTV News.

Musycsyn said the copy of Doctor Dolittle stood out because it bore markings from the Sydney Public Library.

"This one in particular had the old library card from 1939," Musycsyn said. "And I just thought that was interesting, because it was the same week that the library had abolished their fines.

"So, I thought it was a good thing, because I wouldn't want to know what the fine on an 82-year-old overdue book would be."

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Library officials said the old Sydney Public Library burned down in 1959, destroying most of its books. They said the tome returned by Musycsyn might not have survived if it had been returned on time.

Nicole MacGibbon of the Cape Breton Regional Library said librarians calculated the late fee just for fun.

"Assuming a charge of 15 cents a day, if we had charged a late fee, it would have amounted to about $3,000," MacGibbon said.

She said library officials are now trying to get in touch with the family of the girl who checked the book out in 1939 to learn more about its journey.

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