Library book returned to Rugby nearly 64 years overdue

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An overdue book has found its way back to Rugby Library nearly 64 years after its return date.

The copy of The Adventures of Pinocchio was returned to Rugby Library during a week-long fines amnesty which was held by Warwickshire County Council.

Librarians were astonished to find the return date for the book was 31 December 1950, some 63 years and two months overdue.

Councillor Colin Hayfield, Portfolio Holder for Customers at Warwickshire County Council, said: “We are pleased that after all this time the borrower felt that they could return the book. We always wanted to use the fines amnesty to welcome people back who haven’t visited us for a while and we hope the borrower is enjoying our services again”.

When the book was issued, it was the year in which the Princess Royal was born as was TV presenter Jeremy Paxman. The English national football team made its first appearance at a world cup finals, held, coincidentally in Brazil, India became a republic, Listen with Mother was launched and Sainsbury’s opened the first purpose-built supermarket in Croydon.

Area Librarian Joanna Grindle said: “During my 34 years as a librarian I have never known a book to be that overdue. It is amazing to think how much the library has changed since the book was taken out in 1950. Today we have computerised self-service machines, people can download our ebooks to a mobile device and we have a vibrant programme of events.”

She added: “Of course, I’m pleased to say we have plenty of other Pinocchio books in our children’s section so I don’t think anyone missed out!”

Warwickshire County Council’s week long fines amnesty was launched on National Libraries Day - Saturday 8 February - and ran until Saturday 15 February.