San Francisco Public Library

47-Year-Overdue Library Book Returned to San Francisco Library

A copy of Eldridge Cleaver’s memoir Soul on Ice has been returned to the San Francisco Public Library after almost five decades. The book was originally due back at the Eureka Valley branch on December 9th, 1970.



The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the paperback, which has a hole in its title page and a detached cover, was 47 years, 4 months, and 29 days late. Luckily for whoever returned the book, the library caps its late fees at $10.01: without the cap, the fine would have totaled $1,731.70.


Anne Vannucchi, the branch manager, told the San Francisco Chronicle that she would like to know the identity of whoever returned the book so she can get some answers, not to chide the patron.


Surprisingly, this copy of Soul on Ice doesn’t crack the record for the longest overdue library book – last year, a man returned his great-grandmother’s copy of Forty Minutes Late, which was over one hundred years overdue.


Featured Image via Wikipedia.