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Pennsylvania library book checked out in 1904 is finally returned after 120 years​

It's a good thing they cap the fines at $10.

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Courtesy of the Carbondale Public Library

Library book checked out in 1904 is finally returned

Just about everyone has had the misfortune of forgetting to return a library book. Some turn it in and pay whatever fine that's been assessed while others never find the book and decide to pay for the replacement. But there's a small group of people that don't return the missing book or pay the library to replace it. It's simply checked out forever for reasons no one knows.

Horace Short fell into the latter category. Back in 1904, Mr. Short checked out "The Cruise of the Esmeralda" by Harry Collingwood, a novel about adventures at sea, from the Carbondale Public Library. For some reason, Short never returned the book and librarians assumed it had been discarded according to Jessica Pratt, Adult Services Librarian at Carbondale Public Library.

Much to the delight and surprise of the librarians, the book was recently returned, 120 years late. Hawley Public Library found the antique book at their book sale and informed the Carbondale library of their discovery.


Pratt told Upworthy, "When we saw the date on the library card in it, we realized that it was likely borrowed and never returned. We were quite thrilled not only for having a book returned to us that late but because it also contained a Carbondale Public Library library card that was over 100 years old!"

The library shared about the book return on their social media account where they humored commenters with working out the late fee fines.

"If we go by the fines based of the date the item was checked out (2 cents per day), Mr. Short would owe us $872.82. If we go by the fines the library charges today (25 cents per day), he would owe $10,910.25. Mr. Short is very lucky we currently cap fines for books at $10," Carbondale Public Library writes.

library book; carbondale public library; 120 year old library book; library book returned after 120 years

"The Cruise of the Esmeralda" by Harry Collingwood

Courtesy of Carbondale Public Library

As for Mr. Short, the library did some sleuthing to see if they could locate his family to tell them about the extraordinary find.

Pratt tells us, "We’ve done some research on the card holder, Horace J. Short. He was born in or around 1877 near Prompton, PA. He moved to Carbondale and was working as a butcher. In 1899 he lost the fingers on his right hand to a sausage grinder! Sometime between 1904 and 1907 he moved to Wilkes-Barre, PA and spent many years as a messenger for the railroad. We know he died sometime between 1930 and 1940 but unfortunately, we lose track of him and his family after then. We know he had one daughter, Reta, but we don’t know if she ever married or had children."

The librarian says that anyone interested in reading the book can find it online on Project Gutenberg. But the library itself is working on some projects they're pretty excited about like the Family Place room to promote early literacy for families with children under three. They are also cultivating an outdoor space so it can become a certified pollinator garden according to Pratt.

So if you're near Carbondale, Pennsylvania and want to check out the century's late library book, stop by to take a look and maybe check out your own book. Just be sure to return it on time.

Identity

Celebrate International Women's Day with these stunning photos of female leaders changing the world

The portraits, taken by acclaimed photographer Nigel Barker, are part of CARE's "She Leads the World" campaign.

Images provided by CARE

Kadiatu (left), Zainab (right)

True

Women are breaking down barriers every day. They are transforming the world into a more equitable place with every scientific discovery, athletic feat, social justice reform, artistic endeavor, leadership role, and community outreach project.

And while these breakthroughs are happening all the time, International Women’s Day (Mar 8) is when we can all take time to acknowledge the collective progress, and celebrate how “She Leads the World.

This year, CARE, a leading global humanitarian organization dedicated to empowering women and girls, is celebrating International Women’s Day through the power of portraiture. CARE partnered with high-profile photographer Nigel Barker, best known for his work on “America’s Next Top Model,” to capture breathtaking images of seven remarkable women who have prevailed over countless obstacles to become leaders within their communities.

“Mabinty, Isatu, Adama, and Kadiatu represent so many women around the world overcoming incredible obstacles to lead their communities,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA.

Barker’s bold portraits, as part of CARE’s “She Leads The World” campaign, not only elevate each woman’s story, but also shine a spotlight on how CARE programs helped them get to where they are today.

About the women:

Mabinty

international womens day, care.org

Mabinty is a businesswoman and a member of a CARE savings circle along with a group of other women. She buys and sells groundnuts, rice, and fuel. She and her husband have created such a successful enterprise that Mabinty volunteers her time as a teacher in the local school. She was the first woman to teach there, prompting a second woman to do so. Her fellow teachers and students look up to Mabinty as the leader and educator she is.

Kadiatu

international womens day, care.org

Kadiatu supports herself through a small business selling food. She also volunteers at a health clinic in the neighboring village where she is a nursing student. She tests for malaria, works with infants, and joins her fellow staff in dancing and singing with the women who visit the clinic. She aspires to become a full-time nurse so she can treat and cure people. Today, she leads by example and with ambition.

Isatu

international womens day, care.org

When Isatu was three months pregnant, her husband left her, seeking his fortune in the gold mines. Now Isatu makes her own way, buying and selling food to support her four children. It is a struggle, but Isatu is determined to be a part of her community and a provider for her kids. A single mother of four is nothing if not a leader.

Zainab

international womens day, care.org

Zainab is the Nurse in Charge at the Maternal Child Health Outpost in her community. She is the only nurse in the surrounding area, and so she is responsible for the pre-natal health of the community’s mothers-to-be and for the safe delivery of their babies. In a country with one of the world’s worst maternal death rates, Zainab has not lost a single mother. The community rallies around Zainab and the work she does. She describes the women who visit the clinic as sisters. That feeling is clearly mutual.

Adama

international womens day, care.org

Adama is something few women are - a kehkeh driver. A kehkeh is a three-wheeled motorcycle taxi, known elsewhere as a tuktuk. Working in the Kissy neighborhood of Freetown, Adama is the primary breadwinner for her family, including her son. She keeps her riders safe in other ways, too, by selling condoms. With HIV threatening to increase its spread, this is a vital service to the community.

Ya Yaebo

international womens day, care.org

“Ya” is a term of respect for older, accomplished women. Ya Yaebo has earned that title as head of her local farmers group. But there is much more than that. She started as a Village Savings and Loan Association member and began putting money into her business. There is the groundnut farm, her team buys and sells rice, and own their own oil processing machine. They even supply seeds to the Ministry of Agriculture. She has used her success to the benefit of people in need in her community and is a vocal advocate for educating girls, not having gone beyond grade seven herself.

On Monday, March 4, CARE will host an exhibition of photography in New York City featuring these portraits, kicking off the multi-day “She Leads the World Campaign.

Learn more, view the portraits, and join CARE’s International Women's Day "She Leads the World" celebration at CARE.org/sheleads.


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Let's settle this silly-but-surprisingly-heated debate once and for all.

Elya/Wikimedia Commons

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The "over or under" question has plagued marriages and casual acquaintances alike for over 100 years, with both sides convinced they have the soundest reasoning for putting their toilet paper loose end out or loose end under. Some people feel so strongly about right vs. wrong TP hanging that they will even flip the roll over when they go to the bathroom in the homes of strangers.

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The 43-year-old, who has a 2-year-old son with comedian John Mulvaney, shared her experience with photos, video and a written statement shared on Instagram.

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