Alumnus returns library book that was checked out in 1974

Carole Hodorowicz, Staff Reporter

An Eastern alumnus returned a library book to Booth Library Wednesday that was 16,347 days overdue. 

Gary Henigman, who graduated in 1977, received a copy of “Twilight of the Gods: The Beatles in Retrospect” by Wilfrid Mellers in the mail with a pink post-it, which said: 

“Dear Gary, 

Huge favor—could you please return this for me to EIU’s library? Thanks, my friend! 

It’s a little overdue.” 

The book came from his friend and Eastern alumnus from the class of 1976. Henigman’s friend, who asked to remain anonymous, called him a couple weeks ago to explain the situation. Still a huge Beatles fan but now a resident of Colorado, Henigman’s friend needed Henigman to return it for him.  

“He called me and said he was going through some old boxes at home and came across the book,” Henigman said. “He said, ‘I need you to do me a favor. I’m mailing you a book. Please take it back to Booth Library.’ And I just laughed.” 

After tracing it back, Henigman said he thinks his friend checked the book out during the first semester of his sophomore year.  

If calculated by Booth Library’s standard late fee of 25 cents for every day it was late, he would have owed the library $4,086.75. 

After calling the resource center, Henigman said the most Booth Library would charge him is the value of the book. 

When he returned the book, there was no charge. 

“I think we’re just glad to have it back,” said Jana Aydt, a library specialist, with a laugh.  

She then joked to Henigman, “Do you feel like you’ll walk out a lighter man?” 

“I feel cleansed,” Henigman replied, in the same light-hearted spirit. 


Carole Hodorowicz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].