Library Book Returned 75 Years Past Due Date


Library books can easily be forgotten but three-quarters of a century is an awfully long time. An 89-year-old man from New Jersey recently returned a book he’d checked out as a teenager to its rightful home after 75 long years.

Bob Jablonski checked out Hitler by Oden Rudolph from the James J. Ferris High School Branch in 1947. When Jablonski took out the book, he was just 14 years old. The novel was warning the world about Adolf Hitler, something a teenage boy would probably find interesting at the end of World War II.

Jablonski recently rediscovered the book while reorganizing his family home and wanted to make sure that it found its way back to the Jersey City Free Public Library. Even after all this time, the librarians who received the book said it remained in perfect condition. It even had the original reference card still intact.

Luckily for Jablonski, he won’t have to pay any hefty fees for returning the 75-year overdue book. Most libraries have started to become fine-free, making it easier for people who have misplaced books to return them without penalty once they’re rediscovered. In March 2021, the Jersey City Free Public Library went fine-free, making it the largest fine-and fee-free institution in New Jersey.


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