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U.S. library exhibit shows ‘glimpse of humanity’ in lost items in books By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Notes collected from returned library books are seen on display in the “Found in a Library Book” collection at the Oakland Public Library in Oakland, California, US August 29, 2022. REUTERS/Nathan Frandino NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

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OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – Photographs, to-do lists, airplane tickets and quirky drawings by children are part of thousands of lost and forgotten items in library books carefully collected for years by a librarian in California.

The items are now part of a collection called “Found in a Library Book” at the Oakland Public Library, whose main downtown branch display cases feature post-it notes, cards, drawings and bookmarks.

Among the items are a ticket to an Oakland Athletics baseball game on April 25, 2013 and a ticket to a Heineken (OTC:) beer-related event dated Nov. 19, 2002.

Any item found in a returned book throughout the library system gets sent to librarian Sharon McKellar, who began collecting the items 10 years ago. A few days ago, she opened envelopes containing polaroid photos, two post-it notes stuck to each other with a list of ingredients on one and a list of bible verses on another and a single square sheet of toilet paper.

“I like imagining where these came from,” said McKellar, who has been with the library since 2003. “It just feels like a really interesting archive of our community, of the city and the people who use our libraries and the diversity within those , and just kind of a glimpse at humanity and who we all are and how we’re all connected.”



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