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Marietta man returns library book ... 50 years overdue

The Tates Creek Branch library in Lexington, Kentucky, got an odd package from Marietta the other day.

It was a copy of “The United States in World War I” that had been checked out in 1968, and there was a note.

“50 years pass due. Checked out in 1968. Sorry. Dale H.”

The library tweeted out a picture of the book Wednesday.

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The area’s newspaper, Lexington Herald-Leader, asked the tardy library patron Dale Hutchins some questions on Facebook.

Hutchins told the newspaper he went to elementary school there in the 1960s before his family moved to Texas in 1970. He said the book has been in storage most of the time.

He told them he hoped “to get good karma for this act.”


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Tates Creek branch manager Elliot Appelbaum told the newspaper that fines are 15 cents a day per volume and capped at $6.75. In the worst cases, readers need to cover the publisher price of the book. But the library told the newspaper that it doesn’t plan to fine Hutchins.

“We welcome returns at any point,” he told the Herald-Leader. “It’s a bit unusual for something that old to be returned to us.”


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