Ron Webster of Derbyshire, England was working as a research assistant in the University of Liverpool’s social sciences department in 1953 when he decided to check a book out of the school library. As the University of Liverpool writes on their news page, the book, Structure and Function in Primitive Society by Professor AR Radcliffe-Brown, was apparently so good that Mr. Webster, now 91, decided to bring it with him when he left the school to work in London. It was only recently that Mr. Webster realized he never brought it back, 61 years past its due date.
Ron Webster returning the book to its rightful home. (University of Liverpool)
University of Liverpool Librarian Phil Sykes recounted, “They called me and said, ‘You’ve got to come down, there’s a gentleman trying to return a book he took out in 1953. He’s 91-years-old!’” Because of the decades that had passed without the book’s return, Mr. Webster was on the hook for a fine of £4,510 ($7,651). However, Mr. Sykes decided to forgive the penalty, saying, “Of course, I cannot condone the late return of books but I remitted the fine of £4,510 on the condition that Mr. Webster agreed, henceforth, to live an exemplary life and return all his books on time.”