Library Book Returned, 61 Years Late

Thursday, October 30th 2008, 6:04 pm
By: News On 6

By Rick Wells, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Holland Hall School in Tulsa received an overdue book in the mail last week.  That by itself is not unusual.  What astounded the librarian and school officials was the book was way overdue.  It was checked out more than 61 years ago, making it 22,275 days overdue.

The book is called 'New Word Analysis: Or School Etymology of English Derivative Words.'  It was originally published in 1879.  The overdue version was released in 1921.

Betty Niver has been a librarian at Holland Hall for a long time.  The book has been missing even longer.  On the inside cover you can see Martha McCabe signed it out in 1947.  She returned the book with a note, and a check for $250 to cover fines for the long overdue book.

Holland Hall no longer had the book in the system.

Martha McCabe Jarrett, who now lives in Florida, signed out a book 61 years ago when she was a student at Holland Hall School for Girls, that's what it was back then.  Last week, she found the book and sent it back.

"To take the time to return it after all these years, and to write such a gracious note was inspiring," said Librarian Betty Niver.

And she says it validates the kind of character, and sense of responsibility they are teaching at Holland Hall.

The school's not sure what it will do with the $250 since they have no specific overdue book fund.  They think they might put it toward student scholarships.