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Beatles cassette returned to Texas public library 44 years overdue

Get back to where you once belonged.

A Beatles cassette tape that was checked out of the San Antonio Public Library 44 years ago was finally returned this month, officials said.

The tape, a recording of an interview with Beatles members John Lennon and Paul McCartney, was recently left anonymously in a book return drop box, SAPL said in a Facebook post.

“Have you ever checked out an item from SAPL and never had a chance to return it?” The library posted on Nov. 20.

“Can you believe this recording of The Beatles was checked out from Westfall Branch Library 44 years ago and returned to us recently?”

In the post, the library poked fun at how such a late return would normally come with an exorbitant late fee, but noted the branch has not charged patrons with late fees on returns since October of last year.

The post continued: “Imagine all the potential fines there could have been! Luckily, we have been fine-free since October 2021, so even if you have an item to return that’s a year late, a decade late, and even four decades late, we will still accept it at NO charge!”

The tape was anonymously left in a book drop-off box at the library.
San Antonio Public Library
The library hasn't charged late fees since October 2021.
The library hasn’t charged late fees since October 2021.
San Antonio Public Library

Marketing Manager at SAPL Scott Williams told The Post that while the library has not kept record of what the overdue fees were in the 70s, before they were stopped in 2021 the fine was 35 cents a day, capping at a $10 maximum fee.

While late fines may be a thing of the past, the library noted on Facebook that now if an item is kept too long it will be considered lost and the patron may be charged with the replacement cost. If a person has too many lost item fees, their borrowing privileges may be suspended.

The San Antonio Public Library is not the only branch to quash the annoying late fines.

The tape contains an interview with John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles.
The tape contains an interview with John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles.
Bettmann Archive

Earlier this year, a book checked out 75 years ago was returned to a public library in New Jersey a little over a year after that library rid its overdue fee policy.

Bob Jablonski checked out “Hitler,” by Oden Rudolph at the James J. Ferris High School branch of the Jersey City Free Public Library in 1947 when he was just 14, and waited until August 2022 to return the book.

While incredibly late, he couldn’t have brought the book back at a better time. The library implemented a no-overdue fee policy in March 2021, meaning the now 89-year-old could return his book fine-free.

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