Page last updated at 10:21 GMT, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 11:21 UK

Library book return 46 years late

Library stamp on engineering book
The book was borrowed in 1963 and returned in 2009

A man who borrowed a library book 46 years ago has finally returned it, and avoided a £2,500 fine.

David Hall borrowed the book, Engineering Workshop Practice, for his father from Derby Central Library.

Mr Hall, from Derby, was 10 when he took the book out in 1963 and only came across it again when he was clearing out a loft at his late father's home.

Derby City Council is currently running a books amnesty, which means Mr Hall does not have to pay the fine.

The amnesty, organised by Derby City Libraries, lasts until Wednesday and anyone who has an overdue book on loan can hand it in at any library without being penalised.

I noticed the amnesty and thought, what a great opportunity
David Hall

The council said on average it raised about £40,000 a year in late fees, which is then reinvested into library services.

Library officials said that if the daily fine rate had been applied over the 46 years, Mr Hall would have faced a fine of approximately £2,500.

Mr Hall said: "I found the book when I was clearing my dad's loft after he died 20 years ago.

"I noticed it was the same one I borrowed all those years ago and I thought…perhaps that should go back to the library. Then I noticed the amnesty and thought, what a great opportunity."

Councillor Joe Naitta, who is responsible for leisure and culture, said the library service wanted to "re-engage" with customers who had incurred fines.

"With this amnesty they can now resume library use without worrying about a fee.

"This is a one-time offer that I would encourage people to take advantage of," he added.

A copy of Engineering Workshop Practice can be bought on a book sale website for 62p.


David Hall admits he was shocked at how long the book had been out for

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