I had the same problem with expired books, but when I then downloaded another book from the library I checked and it had added an entry into cludsync. I then deleted the new "active" book entry and the old expired one at the same time and that worked!
I have the exact same issue. It's ridiculous. I read several newspapers through my local library on ADE, and every single issue I ever borrowed just keeps reappearing in my library, no matter what I try. I tried deleting the items, I tried returning the items.
I've deactivated the option to cloud sync before and after deleting, restarted at any possible point during that sequence, deleted all sync related files in the Documents folder under Manifest, CloudSync and Annotations, all to no avail. Every time ADE loads up, it syncs the whole steaming pile of dead files right back into my library.
This of course is on top of the fact that with large format pdf-files ADE is practically unusable anyway, scrolling is a nightmare and zooming unavailable. For no technical reason whatsoever, of course, as the very same files are perfectly readable in Acrobat, once a magical fairy has kindly removed the DRM for me. Are you by any chance actively trying to break ADE?
Free software or not, this is a disgrace, especially given the fact that this issue has cropped up for over half a decade now, judging by Google searches. Libraries and publishers should abandon this deeply flawed system.
I just tried the "solution" mentioned above, which is to go back for ADE version 3.0. I uninstalled the current ADE, installed 3.0 and ended up with a program that had an unbreakable authorization, meaning I could see the authorized account info in the appropriate dialog, but I could not deauthorize it, nor could I re-authorize it. Why does this matter? Because when I tried to borrow from the library, ADE informed me that there was an error with the authorization, and that I should check that. No further information given, no possible way to do anything about it.
Deinstalled 3.0, re-installed 4.5.8. Guess what? It has a library full of dead files right after the fresh install.
And one more addition. It is not just the act of starting ADE back up that resyncs deleted files back in, that also happens when a new item is added. I click download on the library page, the new issue appears in my library, and a moment later everything else pops back into existence with it. This is fun.
When I click on one of those ghost items (which have no cover image btw) a dialog pops up saying "Unable to download. Error getting license. License Server Communication Problem. E_LIC_ALREADY_RETURNED."
Yeah. No ****.
And one final (hopefully) post regarding this.
I noticed that while there was (and is) no way to de-authorize in ADE 3.0, there is in 4.5. So I tried again. I de-authorized 4.5, uninstalled it, installed 3.0, re-authorized with the same credentials. Borrowed an item, returned it, borrowed another one, returned it, closed the program, restarted. All clean.
As Woody Allen said regarding his plan to live forever: so far, so good.
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I have found that if I try to "return/delete" a library book before it has expire then it cloud syncs again. However, if I wait until it has expired before deleting it then it stays deleted.