George Washington Owes $300,000 Library Fine


Libraries are having a tough time these days. The New York Public Library has already cut back its hours dramatically, in response to mid-year city budget cuts. (And that was even before a potential loss of state aid to the city, which could result in a loss of 19,000 municipal workers in the coming fiscal year.)

Libraries in the city and across the country have also become overwhelmed with homeless patrons during the recession.

And now, one city library is getting stiffed for $300,000 — by George Washington.

Turns out the Father of the Country checked out two books from the New York Society Library, the city’s oldest, while he was in office. But though they were due in November of 1789, Washington never returned the books. According to the Daily News, the late fees, adjusted for inflation, come out to about $300 grand.

That’s money that any library these days would probably be happy to have. But head librarian tells the News they’re “not actively pursuing the overdue fines,” but they’d be “very happy if we were able to get the books back.”