Tiana Gullotta

Man returns library book after 84 years

Man returns library book after 84 years

Eighty-four years ago, a library book was borrowed by an 11-year-old girl.

A few days ago, it was returned to the Shreve Memorial Library in Louisiana, USA, by her adult son.

Borrowed by his mother when she was a child, the man came across the book – which a library official described as “in pretty rough shape” –whilst cleaning the house.

The novel, Spoon River Anthology, is a book of free verse by Edgar Lee Masters, with each poem written in the perspective of a dead person within the fictional town.

An image of the old book was posted on the library’s Facebook page along with the statement: “We thought that the title was appropriately spooky to turn up again after all this time, right around Halloween.”

According to the rules listed in the book, titles would be charged 5 cents each day the work is overdue. Stroud and his family calculated the cost of the fine which exceeded $1500. The library refrained the son from the charge.

Although, in honour of his mother the Stroud family paid the $1542.65 fine in the form of a donation, “My brother and sisters determined (paying the fine) would be a befitting honour to my mum, and also we have an aunt who’s a librarian.” Robert Stroud shared.


He goes on to state, “My mum had a great sense of humour, I think she would see a lot of levity in this.”

Shreve Memorial Library Executive Director, John Tuggle, joked “What I’m going to use it for is to remind all of our patrons that it’s never, ever too late to return an overdue book,” he hopes this story can become a funny lesson to others in the future.