Although no one asked him to do it.
Robert Stroud, a resident of the city of Shreveport of the American state of Louisiana, found the book “Spoon River Anthology” by Edgar Lee Masters, examining things left after his mother’s death. As it turned out, she took the book from the local library of the Shreve Memorial Library in 1934, when she was 11 years old, but did not return it.
At first, Stroud anonymously gave the book to the library but then decided to get out of the shadow when the library staff posted a photo of the book on the Facebook page of the institution, and this story began to become viral.
The man decided to pay a fine for late return of the book. Library management met with him and set the maximum amount of a fine in the amount of 3 US dollars according to the current rules. However, Stroud took advantage of the old library rules indicated on the flyleaf of the book, according to which the fine was 5 US cents per day overdue, and on October 24 he handed the library a check for $1,542.65.
When presenting the check, library executive John Tuggle joked that this story could be a lesson to others. According to him, the library will spend the money received in order to remind all its readers that it is never too late to return a forgotten book.