Sunday, February 21, 2016

The prick of conscience: strong, if sometimes tardy

Last week, the Herrick District Library in Holland, Michigan received a big surprise in the mail: a nonfiction book about World War II that was checked out in 1967, and finally being returned. Enclosed along with the book was a $100 donation to the library and a note from its borrower, who explained that he was a student at nearby Hope College 49 years ago when he checked out the title as research for a paper he was writing at the time. "Somewhere along the way," the unnamed former patron wrote, "it got mixed up with my personal things and put into a trunk and shipped back to New York. I have moved the trunk many times but until recently never opened it. Upon doing so, I found your book." 
“I just thought it was marvelous and I was delighted,” Diane Kooiker, the library's director, told ABC News. “Because I don’t think very many people would have returned a book that was that far overdue. They would have just said ‘oh well, they’ll never miss it’ or whatever, so I just thought it was great that this guy had enough courtesy to admit what had happened 50 years ago and return the item.”
Tales of a dozen very late returns, here. 

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