A book owed to an Indiana library when Lyndon Johnson was president has finally returned home.
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The novel, Sir Gibbie by George McDonald, was on loan from the St. Joseph County Public Library in the spring of 1968. The book, which features a tale of rags to riches, was due back on June 21, 1968.
That date came and went some 53 times before the library’s River Park branch received the book in the mail last week.
According to an article in the South Bend Tribune, the book was returned from the San Bruno Public Library in California, approximately 2,200 miles from the River Park branch of the library.
Joe Sipocz, director of the River Park branch, told the Tribune that he received the book in the mail without a note attached.
“The book was stamped inside with the address of the library in River Park. The due date card is on the back, ”Sipocz said. “There was no withdrawal stamp in the book. It wasn’t at a book sale.
If a person had to pay book fines over the past 50+ years, it would cost them about $ 3,000. The library charged 15 cents per day until the 1990s, when the fee for overdue books rose to 25 cents per day.
However, the library noted, the fine never exceeds the cost of the book. “Sir Gibbie” would have cost around $ 5 bought new.
Sipocz said the book will not be picked up and will likely return to the library shelves.
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