(Update: Adding video, KTVZ.COM Poll)
Along with an apology and a $20 donation; late return draws attention far, wide
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Deschutes Public Library sees roughly 2,000 books returned to its locations every day. The vast majority of those are returned via the book drops inside and outside of each library. But one book was returned recently by mail, and was a wee bit more overdue than most — by nearly 44 years.
The Hockey Trick, by Scott Corbett, was published in 1974 and was checked out by a Deschutes County Library customer in 1979.
The book was never returned to the library that year. Instead, it made its way back to the library’s administrative offices in a media mail package, along with a note from the sender: “To Whom It May Concern: Many apologies. This book was probably due in the late 1970s. Please accept this token of apology.”
The sender included a $20 donation to the library for late return.
The library shared the story of the late return on its Facebook page last week, during National Return Library Books Week, and it soon got local, then national media attention, including CNN, Fox News, Yahoo! News and Inside Edition.
Library staff were surprised with how big the story went.
“I think it’s been a great opportunity to share a feel-good story with the public,” said Library Operations Manager Mayra Corn, who did an interview on Thursday with Inside Edition. “Any time we can remind the public about all the ways libraries make a difference — it’s a great thing!”
As for the long-overdue copy of The Hockey Game: It will remain on display in the library’s administrative offices, serving as "a reminder that it’s never to late too get something off your chest — or in the mail," their writeup concluded.