Something Wilde: Book returned to Chicago library after 78 years
By Mary Wisniewski
CHICAGO (Reuters) - A Chicago-area woman wanted to return an overdue copy of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" to the Chicago Public Library, but first she wanted to be sure she wouldn't go to jail.
That's because the book, a rare limited edition of the Oscar Wilde novel, was checked out in 1934. Harlean Hoffman Vision found it in her late mother's possessions, with a Chicago Public Library stamp.
The library is conducting a rare three-week amnesty program for overdue items, and Vision figured this was her chance to return the book, said Ruth Lednicer, the library's marketing director. The books was returned Thursday.
"She kept saying, 'You're not going to arrest me?' and we said, 'No, we're so happy you brought it back'," said Lednicer.
Vision didn't know the library caps late fines at $10 on books -- without the cap and the amnesty, total fines on "Dorian Gray" would have amounted to $6,000.
The last amnesty was held 20 years ago, and resulted in the return of 77,000 items.
(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)
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