WEIRD NEWS

WHOOPS! New Zealand Woman Returns Library Book... 67 Years Late

She borrowed the book as a child, then moved away.
This copy of "Myths and Legends of Maoriland" by A.W. Reed was due in 1948... but wasn't returned until 2016.
This copy of "Myths and Legends of Maoriland" by A.W. Reed was due in 1948... but wasn't returned until 2016.

A library book that was due more than 67 years ago was finally returned to Epsom Library in Auckland, New Zealand. 

"Myths and Legends of Maoriland" by A.W. Reed was due on Dec. 17, 1948, as the stamp on the old-school library card showed: 

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Epsom Library wrote on Facebook:

"A wonderful customer came to see us with a confession today! As a child she was a patron of Epsom Library until she moved out of Auckland -- and accidentally took a library book with her! Today she finally managed to return it to us. It's a fair few years overdue but in excellent well-read condition."

Auckland Libraries said this was the longest overdue book it had ever seen returned. The organization was not sure what to do with it, but the book may go on display at Epsom Library. 

The book is a collection of indigenous tales, and it remains in print today under the title "Maori Myths and Legendary Tales." In particular, the volume is known for its splendid illustrations: 

The library didn't charge any late fees for the long-overdue book, although people on social media speculated that it could have cost thousands of dollars. 

Using today's $1-a-day rate, a book overdue by some 25,000 days would carry a $25,000 New Zealand charge (about $17,500 U.S.). However, the library said on Facebook that the maximum amount owed would have been the cost of replacing the book: a tad over $7 U.S. today.

The Guinness World Record for largest library fine is $345.14 for a book returned 47 years late to the Kewanee Public Library in Kewanee, Illinois.  

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