Book Returned 105 Years Late to Colorado Library!

Book Returned 105 Years Late to Colorado Library!

A remarkable tale unfolds as a historical artifact returns to its rightful place over a century later! Imagine the surprise at Poudre Libraries in Colorado when ‘Ivanhoe,’ a novel by Walter Scott, resurfaced a whopping 105 years overdue. This literary gem was due back on February 13, 1919, during the Woodrow Wilson presidency, but it mysteriously vanished until this year.

The heartwarming reunion was sparked when an unidentified woman, after a curious discovery by her brother in Kansas, decided to return the long-lost book to the library’s shelves. The book’s journey through time had been quite eventful, checked out thrice before its vanishing act.

In a different era, late fees kept borrowers in check, where a 2-cent fine per day was the norm. Picture the astounding figure – a potential fine of around $760 for this tardy return, equivalent to a staggering $14,000 when adjusted for inflation today! While the library has ceased enforcing late penalties since November 2020, the value of this returned relic is immeasurable.

Transporting us back in time, Poudre Libraries, formerly known as the Fort Collins Free Public Library, was a bustling hub housed in a now-vacant building adjoining the present-day library. Annaclaire Crumpton, the library’s digital communications specialist, expressed sheer delight at the book’s return, highlighting the enchanting ‘timelessness of books’ embodied in this reunion.

With the book still in pristine condition, bearing traces of annotations and affectionate handling, one can’t help but ponder the generations it has traversed, passing from parents to children. Despite its overdue status, ‘Ivanhoe’ remains cherished, a testament to the enduring power of literature to connect across time and space.

As it prepares for a new chapter beyond library circulation, this iconic piece is set to retire gracefully. The library system, equipped with multiple copies of ‘Ivanhoe,’ intends to preserve this special edition in a local museum or put it on display within the library, ensuring its legacy lives on for future readers to appreciate and admire.


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