January 7, 2016 7:59 pm

Alberta library gets overdue book back after nearly 4 decades

A man returned a book to the St. Albert library over the holidays after it had been overdue for more than 38 years.

Charles Taylor/ Global News
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A library in St. Alberta, Alta. has finally closed the book on a decades old mystery.

Over the holidays, someone returned a book that was over 38 years overdue.

“Sometimes we’ll get things back a little late – even a couple of years,” said Kathleen Troppman, the customer service manager at the St. Albert Public Library. “This is probably the longest I’ve seen.”

Troppman said a man came to the library’s front desk on New Year’s Eve and returned a book he found at his mother’s house. The due date stamped on the book was for Nov. 25, 1977. The man said his family used to live in St. Albert but moved to Edmonton in October of 1977 and must have forgotten the book.

“It shows a respect for libraries and for the community to say, ‘I want to give this back and share it again,'” said Troppman.

Kathleen Troppman with the St. Albert Public Library sits next to a Lucy Maud Montgomery book. The book was returned by a man 38 years after it was loaned out to his mother.

Charles Taylor/ Global News

The novel was Anne’s House of Dreams, the fifth book in the classic Anne of Green Gables series by the venerated Canadian writer Lucy Maud Montgomery. Troppman said the returned copy won’t go back into circulation as it was replaced long ago but the library is grateful to have it back.

“We’ll keep it with some other strange and historical things we’ve gotten back.”

Troppman said overdue books currently come with a charge of 15 cents a day which means the fine for the New Year’s Eve return would add up to more than $2,000.

She added that the library is happy the man brought the book back and there are no plans to fine him for that amount.

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