Overdue library book returned 38 years (or 13,762 days) after it was taken out

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Anthony at Bedford Central Library with the long-lost library book. Image: Bedford Borough Council
Anthony at Bedford Central Library with the long-lost library book. Image: Bedford Borough Council

A library book which was 13,762 days overdue has been returned to Bedford Central Library nearly 38 years late.

The biography of the actor, Clint Eastwood was part of the Young People’s Library Service collection – a precursor to the Schools Libary Service. It was borrowed from Bunyan Upper School in May 1986 but never returned.

However, a member of the public came across it during a house clearance and brought it into Bedford Central Library, luckily avoiding the fistful of dollars (£4,816.70) in overdue fees.

Image: Bedford Borough Council

Anthony, a Library Assistant at Bedford Central Library told the Bedford Independent: “We obviously get hundreds of books returned daily, but we did a double take with this one.

“Despite being borrowed nearly 38 years ago, the book is actually in great condition so it’s heartwarming that a library book has been so well cared for, even if it was borrowed a little while ago.”

The library service has undergone many changes over the last 38 years, and there are now many ways to avoid an overdue fine.

“It’s now super easy to renew books so they don’t come back late,” said Anthony.

“Customers can use the library app or online catalogue to manage their physical loans, or borrow eBooks and digital audiobooks that don’t need returning at all as they come off the app automatically.

“There’s always a warm welcome at our libraries and we’re looking forward to some author visits and activities in February for our Love Libraries Month.

“Whether you’re a regular customer, or have not visited us since Heartbreak Ridge was released, we’d love to see you.”

You can find Bedford Borough Libraries on Facebook where they share events and all sorts of reading-related updates and find all you need to know about our local libraries at bedford.gov.uk/libraries.