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Library Book Returned 51 Years Late

Oklahoman Burdette Payne had never heard of Ventura County when he stumbled across on old library book with a stamp listing that location and a 1944 due date. After looking up this California seaside community in an atlas, he dropped the book in the mail.

More than 51 years after it was due, the most overdue book in the memory of Ventura County library officials found its way home.

So ended the odyssey of the children’s book “Bomber Pilot,” which was due Dec. 20, 1944 and racked up more than $3,600 in fines.

Dixie Adeniran, library director, said “It’s nice of people to return library books, but sooner than that would be better.”

Payne said his wife bought the book at a yard sale in Tulsa, Okla.

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