A LIBRARY book has been returned after being nearly 60 years overdue.

Jaws hit the floor at Middlesbrough Central Library last week when a book was dropped into the returns box that should have been back on the shelves in December, 1962.

After nearly six decades, the pristine copy of Geoffrey Faber's poetry anthology The Buried Stream was welcomed back by bemused, but appreciative, library staff, with no questions asked.

The book's more than 57-year absence could have seen the unlucky borrower facing a library fine of more than £500.

But with fines suspended as part of the service's response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the anonymous bookworm may have seized the moment to make amends.

Librarian and Community Hub Officer David Harrington said: "Much to our surprise this book was dropped into the returns box.

"We're really grateful to the anonymous person who returned this book to us as it will be added back to our stock and placed in the Reference Library for future generations to enjoy."

Councillor Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Communities and Education, said: "What a lovely, public-spirited act to return this book after so many years.

"The library is home to a treasure trove of literature and learning, and this latest addition is now back where it belongs for others to enjoy.

"It's definitely a case of better late than never!"