Library Book Returned After 78 Years

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CHICAGO, (UPI) —  The Chicago Public Library said the 101,301 overdue items returned during its amnesty period included a book due 78 years ago.

Library spokeswoman Ruth Lednicer said most of the items returned to the library during the Aug. 20-Sept. 7 “Once in a Blue Moon Amnesty” program, which waived fines for the items returned during the period, were three to five weeks overdue. But the most overdue item was a copy of Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray” 78 years overdue, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.

Lednicer said the materials — which would have resulted in a total $641,820 worth of fines if not for the amnesty program — also included a copy of “Weather and Man” by Hans H. Neuberger that was due 58 years ago and a copy of “Giant Animals of Long Ago” by Agnes McCarthy that was returned by a woman who said she checked it out as a child 36 years ago.

The spokeswoman said the amnesty was the library’s first since 1985.

“Don’t hold on to books assuming we’ll do it again soon,” she said. “It won’t happen again anytime in the near future.”

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