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Man pays fine for mother's overdue library book — she checked it out in 1934

Man pays fine for mother's overdue library book — she checked it out in 1934
"Spoon River Anthology" by Edgar Lee Masters. (Sarah Crawford / Associated Press)

A man who returned his mother's very overdue library book is paying her fine — even though he didn't have to.

Shreveport resident Robert Stroud came across a copy of "Spoon River Anthology" by Edgar Lee Masters in his late mother's things, the Shreveport Times reported.

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She'd checked it out from the Shreve Memorial Library in 1934.

Stroud initially dropped off the book without leaving his name. But then the story of the long-overdue book went viral when the library posted about it on its Facebook page.

The library waived its maximum fine of $3.

Stroud and his family have decided to donate $1,542.65 to the library in honor of his mother. They presented the check to the library on Thursday.

According to the 1934 library rules listed inside the book, patrons were charged 5 cents per day for every day books were late. That amounts to just over $1,500.

"My brother and sisters determined [paying the fine] would be a befitting honor to my mom, and also we have an aunt who's a librarian," Stroud said.

Stroud said his mother, who was 11 years old when she checked out "Spoon River Anthology," loved literature and poetry.

"My mom had a great sense of humor," he said. "I think she would see a lot of levity in this."

Shreve Memorial Library Executive Director John Tuggle joked that the story might become a lesson to others.

"What I'm going to use it for is to remind all of our patrons that it's never, ever too late to return an overdue book," he said.

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