110-Year Rented Book Returned to Library in Idaho

Jennifer Martin began a rudimentary checkout system at the start of the pandemic after bringing books home from her classroom. Since then, her library has grown by the thousands, largely in thanks to donations seen from strangers across the globe.

Boise Public Library had the book – “New Chronicles of Rebecca” by Kate Douglas Wiggin – returned more than a century after it had been checked out. It was initially returned to the Garden City Public Library in Ada County, but ultimately made its way to the Boise Public Library, wrote the library’s social media manager in response to an inquiry on Twitter.

“New Chronicles of Rebecca” is the sequel to Wiggin’s first fictional novel “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm,” both of which followed the life of Rebecca Rowena Randall as she grows up in rural Maine. They were published in the early 20th century (1903 and 1907).

“…originally checked out from Boise’s Carnegie Public Library in 1910! With a fine of two cents were day for 111 years, whoever checked out this book would owe $803 – thank goodness the Boise Public Libraries are now fine free!” wrote the Idaho-based library in a social media announcement.

The library let its patrons know that it’s never too late to return a lost library book. More so now than ever before, as libraries throughout the country are waiving or eliminating late fees in order to encourage borrowers to return overdue books.

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