Book returned to New York Public Library 55 years late

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good NewsFebruary 6, 2013

On April 10, 1958, Fire of Francis Xavier, a biography of a 16th-century priest, was checked out of the Fort Washington branch of the New York Public Library.

It was returned on Monday.

"This book was returned to us today," the branch's Facebook page posted Monday afternoon. "Not sure what the late charge should be."

"I was checking the mail and I saw a mysterious package, and so I opened it up, and here it was," library manager Jennifer Zarr told CBS New York.

Zarr told the Daily News that a $100 cheque was found inside the book. She won't release the name on the cheque — library records don't go back as far as 1958, so it's impossible to know who borrowed the book — but noted that the cheque more than covered any late fines. The library said that, at most, the fine would be the replacement cost of the book.

"It's temping to say it would be an astronomical number, but it wouldn't be," New York Public Library spokeswoman Amy Geduldig told DNAinfo.

If the library applied its current 25-cents-a-day fine retroactively to when the book was signed out, the fine would be almost $5,000.