NewsLocal NewsGeauga County News


'An apology is not enough' — Former patron donates $500 to Geauga County library for stolen books

Libraries remind public during Library Card Sign Up Month about extra amenities
Posted at 11:19 AM, Dec 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-14 23:25:02-05

MIDDLEFIELD, Ohio — What’s the going rate for an apology these days?

The answer to that question came in the form of a letter, sent to the Middlefield branch of the Geauga County Public Library.

"Years ago while growing up as a teenager, I took some books from the Middlefield Library without checking them out. As I've grown and matured, I've increasingly realized how wrong and selfish that really was," the former Middlefield resident wrote in a letter to the library.

Candi Daw, the circulation manager at the Middlefield branch, thought the piece of mail she received was from a patron paying for a lost book, which she often gets.

But this one came with no name and no return address, just the wisdom that comes only with time, an apology—and $500 in cash.

The former patron went on to write, “There is no justification for what I did, and unfortunately I let my youthful greed get the better of me. I am truly sorry, but I know an apology is not enough. Please accept this $500.00 as restitution for the harm I caused.”

“Whoever it was said that they didn't believe that the value of what they took was $500,” Daw said. “They felt that indeed, it was less than that. But they wanted us to accept that full amount to just do some good work and continue providing the services to the community that we always have.”

That money, Daw said, will help fund summer reading programs for kids and adults.

It’s a timely reminder that it’s never too late to make things right.

“I just felt like, gosh, there really are good people in this world, and it was just so nice to be a part of that,” Daw said.

The library posted the letter on its Facebook page, stating "We forgive you, former patron, and we appreciate your honesty and your generous "fine." We will put it to good use, we promise," it said.

Unfortunately, the patron didn't say what books they took, so now we are left to our imaginations regarding the titles of their teenage book heist.

Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.

You can also catch News 5 Cleveland on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live and more. We're also on Amazon Alexa devices. Learn more about our streaming options here.