New Zealand Woman Returns Library Book Overdue 67 Years: Was She Fined?

A woman in Auckland, New Zealand recently had a serious problem regarding a library book overdue 67 years. She approached the Epsom Library in the largest New Zealand secret and she quietly told the head clerk of the public library system about her overdue library book. With a hint of nervousness, she confessed that her copy of “Myths and Legends of Maoriland” had been overdue for 67 years.

Admittedly, she was probably fearing the worst, especially considering that there would be a humongous fine for a library book that had been out and overdue 67 years. She calmly explained that she had borrowed the book in December of 1948 and had accidentally taken it with her when she moved out of the city. Although, admittedly she could have mailed it back, she put it off too long and the days turned to weeks, the weeks turned to months, and of course the months turned to years.


Of course, when looking at a book that has been overdue 67 years, the big elephant in the room would be the following: “Did the elderly lady have to pay a fine?” Before we answer that, we need to be aware that sometimes there can be very deleterious circumstances regarding overdue library books, especially one as long as 67 years. Indeed, a Michigan Couple are facing three months in prison simply because they lost a Dr. Seuss title that was only two years overdue and returned a thriller about six months late.

They are not the only individuals who are facing serious consequences simply because they were careless with a library book. Another example is in San Jose, where debt collectors are actually going after families with overdue library books. So do you still think a library book overdue 67 years is no big deal? Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But overdue books were certainly a big deal for the Michigan couple. Hopefully the New Zealand native with the library book overdue 67 years won’t suffer the same consequences as others.


Luckily for this elderly woman, she got off pretty easy for her library book that was overdue 67 years. The librarian on duty was so impressed with the immaculate condition that the overdue book was in that she decided to waive the huge fine the woman would have faced. Naturally, having a book that was overdue 67 years would make anyone nervous, especially considering the late fine would have been $24,000!

Granted, part of the reason the librarian waived the fine would probably be because now the book is a somewhat valuable first edition. The other reason of course, would be in the fact the book was in a very “gorgeous” shape, according to the clerk on duty. The book was written by A.W. Reed, who was an expert on New Zealand customs and culture.

Luckily for the aging library patron, the book was not even yellowed, suggesting that even though she took a very long time to return it she had it in proper storage. The front inside flap of the book features the serious expression of a middle-aged woman with flowing hair and a necklace. Although the work is overdue 67 years, it is hearkens back to a moment in yesteryear. Moreover, this is actually good news, considering this woman was honest enough to actually feel like she should return the book. She did the right thing, and she wasn’t punished for it like some of the other examples. Although this book was long overdue, there is no sense in causing stress to anyone, especially when they did the right thing.

What is your take on this woman and her library book that was overdue 67 years? Have your say in the comments below!

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