Overdue book returned to London library after nearly 50 years

A copy of the Latin-language play “Querolus” was anonymously returned to University College London’s library nearly 50 years after it had been due back. Photo courtesy of UCL Libraries

March 31 (UPI) — Officials at University College London said a library book recently mailed back to the school was nearly 50 years overdue.

Librarians said the book, an edition of the Latin-language play Querolus, was mailed back to UCL Libraries by an anonymous patron along with an unsigned note.

‘Dear Librarian, I fear this book is some 50 years overdue! Please don’t just throw it out, now that I’ve taken the time and trouble to return it. It must be an ‘antique’ by now,” the note reads.

The book has originally been due back in the summer of 1974, officials said. The book would have accrued late fees totaling $1,648.56 at the rate of 13 cents per day.

Suzanne Traue, subject liaison librarian for UCL Libraries, said she returned to her office after 18 months of working from home to find the book among a stack of items that had been placed on her desk.

“I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this book came with a note, but I think my jaw may literally have dropped when I read it,” Traue said in a UCL Libraries news release.

  • Partner links