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Bob Dylan record returned to area library 48 years after due date

Overdue! Bob Dylan record returned to University Heights library 48 years after being borrowed



In 1973, Howard Simon checked out “Self Portrait” by Bob Dylan when he was in eighth grade at Wiley Middle School in Cleveland Heights. It’s finally been returned!

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio — Editor’s Note: The above video is from a previously published and unrelated story

Heights Libraries of Cleveland Heights-University Heights reports that an overdue item has been returned. Sounds routine, right?

University Heights branch manager Sara Philips received a somewhat odd-shaped package in the mail from San Francisco. 

“Lo and behold! – it contained a record from our collection that was due back in June 1973!” said Phillips.

Back in 1973, Howard Simon checked out “Self Portrait” by Bob Dylan when he was in eighth grade at Wiley Middle School in Cleveland Heights. 

As Simon was sorting through his record collection recently, he found “Self Portrait” sandwiched between two other Bob Dylan albums, “Nashville Skyline” and “New Morning.”

“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,” Simon wrote to the library. “In that context, I am returning with this letter an overdue item (by my count, approximately 17,480 days overdue as of this writing)….it’s quite late, and I’m quite sorry!”

But Simon did more than just return the album. 

He enclosed a “replacement fee” in the amount of $175 because after all of these years, “the album sleeve is in rough shape.”

Would that be enough to make up for the 48 year overdue fine? 

“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 penalize people,” says Phillips. “We’re grateful that Mr. Simon returned the record. I’d said we can now call it even.”

Simon also supplied the library with a copy of his own album, titled “Western Reserve.” It turns out that he is a musician in his own right, with several albums under his belt, no doubt inspired by Bob Dylan. 

Hey, better late than never, right?



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