An overdue library book titled ‘Hitler’ has been returned after 77 years
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An overdue library book titled ‘Hitler’ has been returned after 77 years

Better late than never. Bob Jablonski returns a way overdue book back to the public library after 77 years.

Wow, where did he have this little number tucked away? Perhaps it had been left untouched collecting dust behind a cupboard, or sitting unobserved on a bookshelf. Whatever the case may be, the book has found its rightful home back at the Jersey City Public Library.

The year was 1947, and Bob Jablonski (now 89) was a sophomore at James Ferris High School in Jersey City who had a book report to do. Choosing a country of his own choice, and after perusing a few titles, Jablonski settled on Hitler, for its insight into Germany after the war.

77 overdue library book Jablonski
Credit: CBS

Written in 1936,  the book discussed Hitler’s politics, and Jablonski states, that it wasn’t so much the content he was after, just the time period. Jablonski recounted the following to CBS with a laugh: “I don’t know whether I stole it or it was inadvertently put in my backpack.” 

He continued, “this book had to go back. I felt uncomfortable having this in my house, knowing that it was overdue.” Overdue by 28,185 days, to be exact. The late fee would have amounted to about $3,000, but lucky for Jablonski, the library is now fine-free: “We want everyone to feel welcome to return the books, even if they’re 70 or 80 years overdue,” said Kate Davis, assistant director of the Jersey City Public Library.