Man to Library: Here's That Dylan Album I Borrowed in 1973

He donated $175 plus one of his own albums to Cleveland-area library
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 1, 2021 2:29 PM CDT
Guy Returns Bob Dylan Album 48 Years Late
Simon says he found the album, somewhat worse for wear, in his personal collection.   (Getty Images/RG-vc)

After nearly five decades of blowin' in the wind, a double Bob Dylan album finally has a direction home: A man living in San Francisco has mailed the vinyl back to an Ohio library 48 years after it was supposed to be returned. Howard Simon recently sent the album along with a letter to Heights Libraries apologizing for his tardiness, according to a news release from the library system. Simon checked out Dylan’s Self Portrait album in 1973 as an eighth-grader at a University Heights middle school. Simon, now 73, says he found it between two other Dylan albums in his personal vinyl collection, the AP reports. "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.

"I am returning with the letter an overdue item by my count, approximately 17,480 days overdue as of this writing," he wrote. His letter says the album cover is a little battered after traveling with him from University Heights to San Francisco with various stops in between, but the library says the records themselves remain in “great shape.” Simon also sent the library a $175 replacement fee for Self Portrait along with an album he recorded, Western Reserve, for possible inclusion in the library's collection. "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 branch manager Sara Phillips. "We’re grateful that Mr. Simon returned the record. I’d said we can now call it even." (This Louisiana man returned a library book that was 84 years overdue.)

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