A Pennsylvania public library revealed a very old and very overdue copy of Chauncey Brewster Tinker’s classic Beowulf that had accrued almost $1,000 in fines.
In an Instagram post, the Sewickley Public Library said that the classic epic has been checked out since 1969 and was just returned last month.
The 54-year overdue book had accrued nearly $1,000 in fines under the 5-cent-per-day policy of the late 1960s.
“In reality, we would have charged the cost of this item since it’s been gone so long. That means the borrower would owe….$0.98, which is how much it cost to purchase the title in the 1920s,” the social media post said.
The post noted that the library has since gone fine-free, so whoever borrowed Beowulf and forgot to return it does not need to worry about the hefty fee.
“As long as library users return borrowed items, their account will be cleared, and they can continue to check out materials to their heart’s content,” the library said.
Although the library saved the culprit a lot of money– they reminded the community to return overdue books.
“Let this be a reminder that it’s never too late to return those overdue items!” the library said.
The Sewickley Public Library said that it’s “really incredible” to have the book returned to it’s proper home.