An overdue book was returned almost 50 years later later after James Philips says he must’ve forgotten to return History of the Crusades to the University of Dayton library when he joined the Marines. Philips, who lives in Minnesota, felt bad about the mishap. He just wanted the item returned back into circulation.
The university contacted Philips about the library book and letter they received, according to FOX News. He told them he checked out the book in 1967 but left school for the Marine Corps without returning it. He says he picked it up either for a class or just because it looked interesting.
“Please accept my apologies for the absence of the enclosed book History of the Crusades. I apparently checked it out when I was a freshman student and somehow it got misplaced all these years,” the note read.
Philips says the overdue book and his belongings were gathered up and sent to his parents. When they died, the items were sent on to his younger brother by mistake.
“He eventually realized the error and to my great surprise I received a box of goods from him. Lo and behold! Among those items in the box was the History of the Crusades book,” Phillips said. While Phillips reports he feels better now that the overdue book is returned back where it belongs, the University’s communications and outreach librarian says no one even knew it was missing until it was returned back on the shelf.
“It was interesting to see a book that had no evidence of our modern technology returned. It still has the old borrowing card stamped with dates back to 1950,” she said. “It was very thoughtful of him to do this because not everyone would choose to return it after so long.”
Katy Kelly, Dayton’s communications and outreach librarian, said there was no record that the overdue book returned was missing in the first place.
“It still has the old borrowing card stamped with dates back to 1950,” Kelly said. “It was very thoughtful of him to do this, because not everyone would choose to return it after so long.”
The returned book will soon go back into circulation and with a more up-to-date tracking procedure being applied: a bar code.
Back in 1967, students checked out a book for 14 days, and they were fined 2 cents for each day it was late. Library officials said they are forgiving the fine, which would have amounted to roughly $350.