Library gets back book 61 years past its due date

Jun 15, 2014, 10:45 IST | Agencies

And, the borrower, who is 91 years old today, manages to evade a fine

Derbyshire: Ron Webster of England was working as a research assistant in the University of Liverpool’s social sciences department in 1953 when he decided to check a book out of the school library.


The book, Structure and Function in Primitive Society by Professor AR Radcliffe-Brown, was apparently so good that Mr Webster, now 91, decided to bring it with him when he left the school to work in London. It was only recently that Mr Webster realised he never returned the book, 61 years past its due date.

Librarian Phil Sykes recounted, “They called me and said, ‘You’ve got to come down, there’s a gentleman trying to return a book he took out in 1953.

He’s 91-years-old!’” Webster was on the hook for a fine of £4,510 but Sykes decided to forgive the penalty. “I cannot condone the late return of books but I remitted the fine on the condition that Webster agreed, henceforth, to live an exemplary life and return all his books on time.”

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