No video today, but instead some joy from a usual source of joy, librarians. The Oakland Public Library has a webpage devoted to objects found within books and left in the library. This, of course, brings to mind Found magazine, a publication I hadn’t thought of for years, but was really happy to find still exists. Honestly, I’m happy that any magazines still exist, but there’s something both voyeuristic and satisfying in a conceptual art manner about the glimpses these object offer into the lives of strangers. Personally, I want to know more about those Squinkies.

And a challenge to our librarian readers — what’s the most interesting thing you’ve found left in a book or in your library?

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is a Senior Consultant at Clarke & Esposito, a boutique management consulting firm focused on strategic issues related to professional and academic publishing and information services. Previously, David was the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He oversaw journal policy across OUP’s journals program, drove technological innovation, and served as an information officer. David acquired and managed a suite of research society-owned journals with OUP, and before that was the Executive Editor for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, where he created and edited new science books and journals, along with serving as a journal Editor-in-Chief. He has served on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc., as well as The AAP-PSP Executive Council. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.


3 Thoughts on "Found in a Library Book"

Two things (in different books).

In one, a pressed leaf. It discolored the book pages that it touched pretty badly, but it was very pretty.

And in the other, a $100 bill. That book had been missing from our collection for (as best we could tell) well over 20 years. It arrived via the U.S. mail with no return address and no note of explanation – only a $100 sticking up slightly between pages. My assumption is that either the person who originally took the book or a relative (if the person who took the book was deceased at that point) decided to return the book and included the money as payment for their overdue fine or just as their penance for having taken the book from our collection in the first place.

A check-out slip from the library at the Theresienstadt concentration camp library

Found in books in our book return were a dead frog and a slice of cheese as bookmarks. In the library – a half eaten burrito hidden behind books, no idea if the patron was saving it for later or not.

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