Borrower returns book to Berlin library after 46 years

Borrower returns book to Berlin library after 46 years

The Central and Regional Library in Berlin (ZLB) has been missing volume 26 of their multi part series Probleme der Reichsgründungszeit 1848-1879 for almost 50 years. Now, the guilty reader has finally returned it, meaning the collection is, at long last, complete once again. 

Book was signed out in 1974

It might sound like a rather unspectacular book, but it seems to have contained some captivating material. In any case, volume 26 was checked out of the ZLB back in 1974, and was only returned by the borrower a few days ago!

ZLB announced on their Twitter page that the book had finally been returned to them after 46 years. The reader in question had apparently read a short news item in the FAZ that had somehow jogged their memory about this long overdue book. They returned it - in perfect condition - with a heartfelt letter of apology. 

That's one heck of a late fee

Surely the reader was charged a late fee, you ask? According to ZLB’s current policy, a late return fee of 25 cents per calendar day for the past 46 years would have amounted to a fine of around 4.000 euros.

However, ZLB spokesperson Anna Jacobi said that the library was just happy to have volume 26 back. They have thus thanked the reader and waived the late fee.

Naina Pottamkulam


Naina Pottamkulam



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