It took 4,229 miles and a sibling's intervention, but “The Scopes Trial: The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes” is back in Montgomery County where it should have been 40 years ago.
A member of the Finnish Library Association has returned the book his or her brother checked out from the Kettering Moraine branch of the Dayton Metro Library in October 1976.
It was due back 28 days later on Nov. 6, 1976.
See the letter below.
“This is definitely the coolest thing that has happened to me in a while,” Librarian Melissa Groveman said. “This book came back within two weeks of the 40th anniversary of its due date.”
The fine for being 40 years overdue would be $1,462.90 under the current fine rate of 10 cents per day.
The library does not charge more than $5 for an overdue item. It is going to waive the fee.
"The sender probably paid more than $5 in shipping,” Groveman said.
Megan Cooper, the development manager at Dayton Metro Library, said the distance the book traveled, the years it was out and the fact that a librarian returned it makes this a particularly unique and cute story.
The letter reads:
I found this book in my bookshelf where it has been for several years. Now that I finally had time to read this book, I noticed that it is from your library.
My younger brother has been in Dayton as an exchange student in the 1970s and I got this book from him. This is an explanation for return being so late. I know it has been a loan a bit longer than usual but better late than never.
A member of the Finnish Library Association, I feel that I need to return this book and as I do not think that I will have any travel in the Dayton region in the near future, I send this book by post.