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Book makes it back to US library more than a century overdue

A bit worse for a century's wear, there are no plans to return Famous Composers to the shelves.

A bit worse for a century's wear, there are no plans to return Famous Composers to the shelves. Photo: AP

Talk about being more than a little late!

A book borrowed more than a hundred years ago has finally been returned to a library in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Titled Famous Composers and featuring the likes of Bach and Mozart, the tome turned up while someone was sorting through a relative’s belongings.

The St Paul Public Library checkout slip shows it was last borrowed in 1919.

St Paul Mayor Melvin Carter joked in a tweet on Saturday that there would be no fine. The library, like many across the country, stopped charging late fees in 2019.

The future of the book is unsure. John Larson, the St Paul Public Library’s digital library coordinator, said he doubted it will go back into circulation because of its delicate condition, but expected the library to hang onto it.

“It has reached a point where it’s not just an old book, it’s an artifact. It has a little bit of history to it,” he said.

Larson said in his 25 years working for the library it was the oldest book he ever saw returned.

“There’s been a time or two when something has come back and maybe it has been checked out for 20 or 30 years, but nothing where it looks like it has been out for some 100 years,” he said.

-AAP

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