A library in the U.S. has welcomed back a late book – more than 30 years after it was first borrowed.
The popular children’s book was originally borrowed in 1993 and has only just been returned to the Missouri Library, three years after it introduced a ‘fine-free’ policy.
The St Charles City-County Library in Winghaven welcomed the surprise return (Supplied)
So the lucky person who returned But Not The Hippopotamus to the library’s Winghaven branch doesn’t owe any money, despite having held onto the popular book for three decades.
The Library spruiked the good news on its Facebook page writing, “it’s never too late to come back to the library, especially now that we are fine free”.
Library staff are reportedly glad to see the new policy is not only encouraging books to be returned, but also bringing customers back to the library.
A representative from the library told Fox News Digital that the Sandra Boynton book is the oldest in “recent memory” that’s been returned to the library district.
The decision to abolish library fines was made three years ago after the library conducted its own research, finding that threats of fines were deterring people from using the library at all.
In a press release CEO of the library Jason Kuhl said “we anticipate that we will have fewer lost items because customers who were afraid to return a late item will now be able to do so without financial consequences,” he added.
The St Charles City-County Library has not charged fines since September 2020 and has cleared existing fines on customer accounts.