Library Receives Book Return From Patron That’s 73 Years Overdue

The Postman by Charlotte Kuh

Have you ever owed a library an overdue book? If so, you likely ended up returning it after a few days, weeks, or,—in seemingly extreme cases—months. While librarians are undoubtedly used to dealing with books past their due date, no one at Silver Spring Library in Maryland could have anticipated one of their latest acquisitions: a book that was checked out in 1946.

An old copy of The Postman, an illustrated children's book published in 1929, was recently mailed to the library. Attached to the small hardcover book was a note detailing its disappearance. The woman—now in her 70s—explained that her family checked the book out 73 years ago when she was just two or three years old.

On short notice, the family relocated to Canada. As they packed up and prepared for their big move, they forgot to bring the book back to the library. Now, several decades later, The Postman is back where it belongs—or, as the library excitedly explained on Twitter: “Home at last.”

In 1946, a family in Maryland checked out The Postman from the Silver Spring Library. Now, a member of the family—who was a toddler at the time—has finally returned the book . . . 73 years later.

The Postman by Charlotte Kuh

In a note, she explained to the library that the family had moved to Canada and accidentally took the book with them.

The Postman Title Page

The Postman Rail Mail

Now, it's back where it belongs—and the library is thrilled!

Property of Silver Spring Library

h/t: [Mental Floss]

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Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.
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