HELSINKI A Finnish library-goer apparently
thought 'better late than never' and quietly returned a book on
loan for more than 100 years to a library in Vantaa, in
The library had long since lost track of the loan but
welcomed back to its collections the bound copy of a 1902
volume of Vartija, an active religious monthly periodical at
"We are unclear when exactly it was borrowed and who
returned it. There weren't any documents with it," librarian
Minna Saastamoinen told Reuters.
"There is an old note attached to the book which says there
is a fine of 10 pennies a week for late returns," she added.
The library sticker inside the cover, and the old-fashioned
handwriting on it, showed the book was last officially loaned
out at the beginning of the last century, she said.
Finland is known for a comprehensive library network with
more than 900 libraries for its 5.3 million inhabitants. In
2006, each Finn on average visited a library 11 times and
borrowed nearly 20 books.
The periodical was borrowed such a long time ago that the
Korso branch of the Vantaa library, where the tome was finally
handed in, did not even exist when the book was borrowed.
(Reporting by Sami Torma; Editing by Jon Boyle)