IT WAS a case of better late than never for a reader who returned a book to Shetland Library this week some 40 years overdue.
The person, who wished to remain anonymous, took out Underwater Archaeology – A Nascent Discipline back in 1978.
They were not penalised as the Lerwick library does not issue fines for late returns.
Library manager Karen Fraser said while it is “always nice to get books back eventually”, staff always prefer a prompt return by the due date.
“This looks like quite an interesting book though it is perhaps a little dated after 40 years away,” she added.
“There have been a few Twitter comments suggesting that underwater archaeology might no longer be ‘nascent’ (just beginning to develop).
“I am particularly taken by the ‘ghost image’ of the old yellow ticket on the date stamp page, showing the book has been out since before the days of barcodes and scanners.”
Staff believe the record for the most overdue book is Mary Blance’s 43-year late return of The Adventures of Beowulf, which was handed back in April.
However, Fraser politely reminded Shetland’s readers that “this is not a record we encourage our customers to try and break”.