0552 GMT November 27, 2020
Dan Buckanaga, an employee at the Duluth Public Library in Minnesota, the US, said he was emptying a return bin when he spotted what he initially thought was a CD audiobook, but a closer examination revealed to be an 8mm movie on a reel, UPI reported.
"I'd never seen one before," Buckanaga told the Duluth News Tribune.
The film reel, a copy of classic silent film A Trip to the Moon, was accompanied by a Post-it note reading: "Sorry, checked this out when I was 14 and we moved. It is 40 years overdue but better late than never."
Randall Brody, 54, came forward as the man who returned the film. He said he found it in a box in his garage earlier this year and remembered he and his brother had checked it out of the library Sept. 2, 1980, shortly before their family moved to North Dakota.
"At first, I didn't know what to do with it, thinking they don't even want it back. ... It might have some value, maybe for a collector," Brody said.
Brody offered to pay a late fee to the library, but Byron Johnson said the facility did away with overdue fines about a year and a half ago.
Johnson said the library no longer as the means to test whether the film is still watchable, as the old projection room was long ago transformed into a set of bathrooms. He said the film will likely find a new home in his personal "museum" on his desk.