Borrower Returns Library Book After 47 Years With Explanatory Letter

Chilton’s Foreign Car Repair Manual. Screenshot. Posted by Washington County Library on Facebook.

Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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A Minnesota library patron anonymously returned a book by mail that she had checked our 47 years prior, along with a letter explaining she forgot about it after moving away from the Lake Elmo location of the Washington County library.

“In the mid-1970s, I was living in [Lake Elmo] and was working on an old Mercedes Benz,” the borrower said. “I took out this book for reference.” The borrower had checked out “Chilton’s Foreign Car Repair Manual” in 1975, according to Facebook post from the library. (RELATED: ‘Keep Your Dirty Books In The Closet’: School Removes Multiple Books Following Muslim Community Complaints)

“A few months later I moved and apparently the book got packed up in the move. Forty-seven years later I found it … in a trunk with other interesting things from the ‘70s. It’s a little overdue but I thought you might want it back.”

“My apologies to anyone in Lake Elmo who was working on an old Benz in the last 47 years. I probably can’t afford the overdue charge but I will send you enough for a new book,” the borrower wrote.

While the letter came with a donation, the borrower is off the hook for any fees, as the library hasn’t charged any for a while.

“We’re just glad to have the book back,” read the Facebook post.