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Someone returned a library book in Ireland after 80 years

Corinne Segal

May 21, 2019, 12:13pm

If this person can return their overdue library book, so can you: last week, someone brought a copy of The White Owl by Annie MP Smithson back to a library in Ireland more than 80 years after it was checked out. That’s more than 28,000 days past its due date (library-goers have two weeks to return their books, per Gweedore Public Library’s policy).

Here’s a list of things that happened AFTER this library book was checked out: World War II. The birth of all of my living grandparents. Amelia Earhart’s disappearance. The invention of the Slinky. Ballpoint pens, all of them.

Senior library assistant Denis McGeady said he was surprised the book was back, to say the least. “The return of this book is a nice reminder to anyone who has any overdue books not to be afraid,” McGeady said.

Of course, Ireland abolished late fees for overdue books in January, so that helps. Regardless, let’s all proceed through this week with the fearlessness of someone who can admit that this book was still in their house eight decades later.

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