Bob Dylan album returned to Ohio library 48 years after due date

A man has returned a copy of Bob Dylan‘s ‘Self Portrait’ album to an Ohio library 48 years after its due date.

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Howard Simon took out his copy of the 1970 album from the University Heights library in the spring of 1973, when he was 14 years old.

As the library revealed on Instagram, Simon returned his copy this week along with a letter explaining what took him so long.


He wrote: “As a recent retiree, I am taking the opportunity to turn my attention to some of the many vignettes of life that by dint of career and family have been neglected these many years.

“In that context, I am returning with this letter an overdue item (by my count, approximately 17,480 days overdue as of this writing) that I borrowed from the library in the spring of 1973 when I was 14 and in 8th grade at Wiley.”

“So it’s quite late, and I’m quite sorry!”

Read his full letter here.

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Library manager Sara Philips spoke of how she opened the package from Simon. “I got a package in the mail from San Francisco that was record-shaped and – lo and behold! – it contained a record from our collection that was due back in June 1973!” she said.


Though his late fees tally up to around $1,748 (£1,231), or 10c a day, alongside the letter he sent a “replacement fee” of $175 (£123) along with one of his own albums.

“The funny thing about this is that we don’t charge overdue fines anymore–as long as we get the item back, we see no need to penalise people,” Phillips said. “We’re grateful that Mr. Simon returned the record. I’d said we can now call it even.”

Elsewhere, a new museum dedicated to Bob Dylan is set to open in Oklahoma next year.

The Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa will open its doors on May 10, 2022, and promises fans the chance to “access and interact with more than 100,000 exclusive cultural treasures” from the legendary singer’s archive.