Overdue book is returned to library – after 36 years

Bookworms across the country have no doubt be stung with an ocassional library fine.

But librarians at Shetland Library were given a bit of a shock after a book was returned to them 36 years after it was stamped out for borrowing.

The 1961 copy of Highland Folk Ways by I F Grant was borrowed in October 1981, and has been reunited with the library in Lerwick following a house clearance.

Karen Fraser, executive manager of library services said the book is “well thumbed” but in good nick.

And the discovery has received plenty of attention on the library’s popular Twitter page.

Luckily for leisurely readers, the library doesn’t impose fines.

Senior library assistant, Catherine Jeromson, said it is not the first time an old book has been returned late.

A couple of years ago a copy of The Pioneer was handed back when it had been due in 1976.

Speaking of the recent return, she said the customer was a little embarrassed and hadn’t realised she had it.

“It’s really good that customers are honest and bring the books back,” Mrs Jeromson said.

“That [one] was in pristine condition and it could’ve been borrowed the previous week rather than being borrowed for 36 years.

“If anybody’s too embarrassed to say to our face ‘I’m really sorry I’ve had this for 30-odd years’ they can put it in the returns bin outside.”


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