Home 9 Featured Posts 9 ATG Quirkies: A librarian collects all the things left in books — from love letters to old photos

ATG Quirkies: A librarian collects all the things left in books — from love letters to old photos

by | Aug 4, 2022 | 0 comments

A librarian collects all the things left in books — from love letters to old photos is by Nell Clark an editor at Morning Edition and a writer for NPR’s Live Blog. Her piece appears on the NPR website.

Photo illustration: Vanessa Leroy and Nell Clark via Oakland Public Library

An ornate pencil drawing of a dragon; a floral postcard congratulating a 40th birthday, never mailed; a silver crochet hook.

All of these items share a connection: They were left behind in books returned to the Oakland Public Library.

Librarian Sharon McKellar collects the found artifacts and posts them on the library’s website in a collection titled “Found in a Library Book.”

McKellar was fascinated by the things she’d find at the library and the anonymous glimpses into people’s lives they offered. She thought the public may be interested too, so nearly 10 years ago she began adding found items to the library’s website.

“I had always collected little things I’d found in library books and I knew other people did that too,” McKellar said. “So that was how it started. It was pretty simple, I was inspired by a magazine called Found Magazine.

Oakland librarians send McKellar the things they find, which she then scans and adds to the library’s growing online collection.

The archive now includes more than 350 items of all sorts. There are yellowed photographs, snippets of homework, bus tickets, love notes and postcards among the collection…”


Please click here to continue reading Ms. Clark’s fun post!

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