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Odd things found in the library...

Librarians who LibraryThing

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1TomeAddict
Edited: May 30, 2008, 2:36pm Top

Last night one of the librarians in my department (Children's ) found that someone had taken one of the small sticky-note pads off our desk and left it on one of our tables. When she went to retrieve it she saw that the person had drawn a picture on the top one.

Then she took a closer look--and discovered that someone had used the pad to create an entire X-Rated flipbook featuring a very well-endowed naked woman!

The quality of the drawing indicates it was done by a kid. Seems one of our middle-schoolers is a budding artist....

2weener
May 30, 2008, 2:38pm Top

I once found a piece of notebook paper with a photograph of two women taped to it and something written in Russian on it. It was taped up to one of the shelves in the Foreign language section.

I sent a scan of it to a buddy of mine in Belarus and he told me that is said "Warning! They have been searched by police!"

3Scratch
Jun 3, 2008, 11:55am Top

Bag of heroin tucked inside the dust jacket of a children's book. Sigh.

4rockinrhombus
Jun 3, 2008, 1:21pm Top

Syringe and crack pipe in the vertical files.

5Steven_VI
Jun 3, 2008, 3:35pm Top

A rather pornographic, but otherwise very finely written poetry fragment. Anonymous - sadly, because it was really litterary and we couldn't place it.

6timepiece
Jun 3, 2008, 6:59pm Top

Unrolled (I refuse to believe it was used) condom.

7selkie_girl
Jun 4, 2008, 8:10am Top

A Korean war army supply list for a company of soldiers

8kaelirenee
Jun 4, 2008, 10:31am Top

God, I love working in an academic library sometimes. I've found a couple of condom wrappers, but never the condom.

The weirdest thing I've ever found was about 150 religious tracts placed wherever there was empty space in our general collection. It took forever to clean up and we're still finding them tucked into books. Just what we were hoping for-proseltyzing books.

9tardis
Jun 4, 2008, 11:13am Top

I once found about 30 of OUR BOOKS from which all identifying labels (including the bar codes) had been removed, and which had then been put BACK ON THE SHELVES. Although they'd been put back randomly, not where they actually belonged.

Sorry for the shouting - I'm still croggled about it. We're a special library with a pretty law-abiding clientele. We do admit the general public and university students but they're not all that common. We never figured out where this was done or when, much less why. Top theory is that someone wanted to steal them and then got cold feet.

10jmgold
Jun 4, 2008, 6:16pm Top

Lots of fake 100 dollar bills with Al Gore pictured on them.

11FionaCat
Jun 4, 2008, 11:39pm Top

A petrified half-eaten chicken sandwich.

12hk-reader
Jun 5, 2008, 2:12am Top

Today I found an unused packet of ketchup in the current periodicals.

13bxuereb
Jun 6, 2008, 5:36pm Top

a student (middle school) urinating....

14An_Fear_Glas
Jun 9, 2008, 6:40pm Top

Bxuereb: PH is already a big problem in some collections. Now we have to account for urine acidity?

Yikes.

;)

15libraryladysears
Jun 13, 2008, 11:01am Top

I still have pockets in the backs of books in the media center. Students tuck their fine money (usually a $ 1.00) there and leave the books in the book return drop. This has been convenient for both the students and the library staff.

16BeckahRah
Jun 13, 2008, 6:35pm Top

Dirty underwear soaking in the public restroom (and up the flagpole)

17stephanie1588
Jun 15, 2008, 1:12pm Top

Prescription for an anti-psychotic, tucked into a Van Gogh book.

18syrion
Jun 15, 2008, 9:48pm Top

A condom. A home-made pornography snapshot in the flatbed scanner provided for patrons. A mountain of used tissue behind one of the computers. (Janitorial staff members are mythical, apparently.)

19WKM
Jun 18, 2008, 1:31am Top

A plasic hippo behind Ruth Rendel; dirty - like they had cleaned their shoes with them - men's underwear in a ball in the corner of the men's room. Also, someone's paycheck, unopened mail and a child's letter to Santa.

20JKLivin658
Jun 18, 2008, 3:03am Top

Poop. In many places.

1.) Multiple times in the Men's restroom urinal.
2.) On a holding shelf in the back of the library.
3.) On the floor in the check out line.

Who are these people? And why are they shitting on my library?!

21sadiegrrrl
Jun 18, 2008, 5:01pm Top

i worked in a bookstore and we found poop in the elevator once and another time on the ESCALATOR...we're still trying to figure out how they managed that without being seen (the sides of the escalator and elevator were glass and easily seen from all over the store!)

22Ui_Niall
Jun 19, 2008, 2:36pm Top

What is this with all of these people pooping in public places? Geesh...I think that I may need to pay special attention to where I step INSIDE of businesses now! LOL

23varielle
Jun 19, 2008, 3:00pm Top

>I once read that libraries had the cleanliest bathrooms of any public place next to a hospital. However, this was before the computer era. It seems to have attracted a completely different clientele.

24GHTC-KC
Jun 19, 2008, 3:53pm Top

Upfront disclaimer: Yes, I know that what I am about to say is going to be considered by some to be very politically incorrect.

It's not simply the advent of computers varielle. Especially in some of our larger cities, libraries have become a place of refuge for the homeless. Especially true in inclement weather that ranges from freezing cold to rain to 100 degree heat. If saying this bothers you, sorry. But it IS a fact, and it CAN have an impact.

25sonyagreen
Jun 19, 2008, 4:22pm Top

I went to college where my mom is a cataloger. I was the editor of the paper, and so she told me that the library had a chronic elevator-pisser. It was very, very hard to come up with a headline that was appropriate. You can imagine the brainstorming session.

Library Pissed In, Librarians Pissed Off
Urine Trouble
Pee U

26Nickelini
Jun 20, 2008, 12:50am Top

#25 -- Oh, that's too funny! Best thing I've read all day.

27Whatnot
Jun 22, 2008, 11:39am Top

#20 -- We had somebody fingerpaint on the walls of our Men's room once. You can guess what their medium was.

We've also found condoms, mostly in the bookdrop, including one that was tied off and full of liquid. Our aides have found various food items, including a dried up slice of lunch meat, half a package of raw ground beef, dripping down the shelves (that one still slightly baffles and disgusts me.) Somebody once inserted a chocolate chip cookie into the CD drive of one of the public computers.

It just goes on and on.

28Steven_VI
Jun 22, 2008, 4:23pm Top

One of our patrons stuffs entire rolls of toilet paper down the toilet. We haven't found out who it is yet.

29sadiegrrrl
Edited: Jun 23, 2008, 7:33pm Top

>28 Steven_VI:

ours prefer to stuff the toilets with sweatshirts and jackets.

30Jomes
Jul 8, 2008, 8:31am Top

Found a full ste of false teeth once, but as they were expertly filed in the dentistry section I prefer to see it as a situationist art prank.

31kmaziarz
Jul 8, 2008, 4:35pm Top

A small plastic baggie of marijuana. *sigh*

32Choronzon
Jul 13, 2008, 9:18pm Top

A semi-fossilized hardboiled egg on one of the bottom shelves in the stacks.

33gaialover
Jul 14, 2008, 9:14am Top

Oh my. Some of these posts make me feel incredibly lucky. Mainly the shitting ones. Anywayyy, my most interesting finds:

Jews for Jesus tracts in the Judaism section, a wrapped condom as a bookmark in a returned book (my my, somebody just couldn't get lucky....or was thinking they'd get incredibly lucky while reading??), $20 as a bookmark (and no, I didn't get to keep it)

34thespringfielder
Jul 15, 2008, 5:42pm Top

Yes the Human Debris Posts are unsettling - Here's my story from Jacksonville, Fl. USA where it's always warm and wet and the bugs never die.

A regular patron brings several VHS tapes to the circ desk for checkout. We use plastic security cases to prevent people from stealing our 20 year old tapes... So, in the process of extracting a tape from the case and opening the case to scan the barcode for checkout a few roaches come scurrying out across the circ desk -
The patron is a pastor - "They're God's creatures too." I say and quickly pass the tape off to my co-worker who removes it from the building. Several hours later we go to investigate the tape - It's gone! Another co-worker saw it lying on the loading dock and brought it BACK into the library. I tracked it down and opened it up to illustrate why it was outside... MORE Roaches come spilling out - all sizes, shapes and not just one or two but upwards of 3 dozen roaches were all nesting inside the VHS tape.
At the end of the day I put the tape on the hood of my car and transported it to the dumpster.

35josiane
Jul 15, 2008, 6:06pm Top

I was on the issue desk a couple of years ago in my previous library and had a student come up with a pile of books. He had a large bag that he rested on the desk while I dealt with checking them out. After I handed them over, he picked up his bag, which left a large puddle of blood behind. I stared at it, somewhat in shock, at which he said 'Excuse me, I think my pheasant must be leaking' and walked off!

36weener
Jul 15, 2008, 6:51pm Top

Nice save, but he probably killed someone.

37HoldenCarver
Jul 15, 2008, 7:03pm Top

Possibly a peasant.

38tstevens
Jul 16, 2008, 12:39am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

39saxhorn
Jul 16, 2008, 3:00pm Top

#34. And I thought bugs only lived in computer software.

40FionaCat
Jul 16, 2008, 4:08pm Top

#34. When I worked in the AV section of a public library (in southern CA) we once got a videocassette back with a large roach (aka "water bug") inside it. We sprayed it with bug killer and sealed it in a plastic bag for about a week. I don't remember who got the enviable job of opening up the video and disposing of the body ...

We also received video containing a slice of cheese, marinated vegetables (I remember that one welll, when I made a face upon opening the video case the woman who was returning it nonchalantly picked out the spear of asparagus and wiped out the inside of the case with her sleeve), ants, etc.

Good times, good times ...

41Lisanne624
Jul 17, 2008, 9:31am Top

Not found in the library, but in a box of books donated to the library, I once found a beautiful old photograph. It is mounted on a piece of cardboard. The photo features 5 women and a child, and it appears to be from the 1880s. It is a shame that there is absolutely no identifying information anywhere on the front or back of the photo. I'd imagine someone would like this photo of their relatives. I've kept it, though, because it seems too old to throw out!

42hodgetsr
Jul 17, 2008, 11:14am Top

We found 2 VERY pornagaphic DVD's inside a book in the returns box. They never come and ask if they were in lost property!

43tiriash
Jul 19, 2008, 12:00am Top

I've found medical forms of some sort and a passport tucked inside books.

44BeckahRah
Jul 24, 2008, 3:49pm Top

Someone once came in and donated his playboy collection. Every single issue since the mid 70's. Yeah.

45zip_000
Jul 24, 2008, 4:12pm Top

I once found 3 or 4 plain white t-shirts stuffed under the sink of a men's room. They were all balled up and squeezed into the crook of the pipe.

I was sure that there was going to be drugs in there since we'd had lots of problems with drug deals in the bathroom. But no, nothing. Just plain white shirts in there for no apparent reason.

46iubookgirl
Jul 24, 2008, 4:34pm Top

One of our student workers recently found $23 in a book!

47Nycticebus
Jul 24, 2008, 5:25pm Top

Hey zip, make sure that you don't have anyone camping in your library and using that spot as a place to stow clothing. We've had that problem, and we've also had a transvestite who would hide his change of clothes, slip in to the (gender neutral) restroom and come out as a different person.

48ceg1674
Jul 26, 2008, 12:52am Top

We found birth control pills at our library this past semester.

49akcanoe
Jul 27, 2008, 7:53pm Top

Middle school library, I found a tooth (real) next to a computer keyboard. Five minutes after taking it to the nurse's office a student came running in looking for it! He didn't want to lose his chance with the tooth fairy.

50Notmeg
Jul 30, 2008, 11:46pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

51Notmeg
Jul 30, 2008, 11:53pm Top

JKLivin658 - Such fun - we had a student we called "the poopster"

52Ui_Niall
Aug 3, 2008, 9:48am Top

Back in my days as a student worker, I opened the book drop box outside one morning and found a large, dead fish wrapped up in paper! Had no idea why it was put in there, but those were some smelly books for a while (we aired them out for a week).
Also, on another occassion of opening the drop box, I found a videocassette (back in the 1980s when videos were the big thing) that obviously did not belong to the library...it was entitled Huge Bras Vol. III. Amazingly enough, a patron came by that afternoon looking for the video that he dropped off by mistake! LOL I still kid him about that these days, 20 years later!

53angelaelectric
Sep 2, 2008, 12:21am Top

It was before my time in circ, but: poop on the circ desk itself with no one able to say who had done it.

54jazzycat
Sep 2, 2008, 6:30pm Top

pairs of shoes obviously just bought from the charity store nearby, randomly left under bookshelves....

laughing drunk peeing on encyclopedias (oxford full set of 10 or what ever)....twice at least, my colleague just wiped them with a cloth...needless to say I tried never to touch them!

Phone book set on fire and thrown into bookdrop....my current library doesn't have a bookdrop because of regular vandalism

slightly off the subject but our libraries also have a famous library book defacer-the defaced books are now kept in the local history centre! see:
http://www.joeorton.org/Pages/Joe_Orton_Life11.html

Oh I once had a book returned which had blood in it- the title was Agatha Christies The Body in the Library...

55irva
Sep 4, 2008, 7:59am Top

Holy Moly...

I love my tiny, village library... Nobody could poo in it undetected...

Anyway, I haven't yet found anything weird here, but a patron once returned a book about successful puppy training... which had been chewed to ribbons by her puppy.

56saxhorn
Sep 4, 2008, 1:48pm Top

#55 LOL, That's priceless!

57theresak1975
Sep 4, 2008, 2:03pm Top

When I was a practicum student at a public library we discovered someone (likely a student from the middle school across the road) had pulled up a tile off of the brand new floor and placed a page out of a women's health magazine showing women giving themselves breast exams. (I can just hear the 12 year old giggles).

In my current academic library, the oddest thing that was turned into lost and found was a belt that was found right in the middle of the floor. How do you lose a belt without knowing it? Or do I not want to know....

58mokelley
Sep 18, 2008, 5:33am Top

We found something really creepy today in the men's public restroom stuck to the back of the stall door. Someone had taken a Target sales paper and cut out a pic of a woman modelling a bra and glued it onto the body of a pre-teen girl modelling some clothes. So what you saw was a young girl's head with a full grown woman's breasts. Needless to say, we all got a bit weirded out by it.

59saxhorn
Sep 18, 2008, 1:12pm Top

This story was posted on the OPL staff pages today. I couldn't resist adding it to this column.

"A slender man (African American with long shoulder length braids) and child came in around noon today (6 August 2008) and asked to get library cards. I asked him for ID, and as he was reaching for his wallet, I commented on his large unusual bracelet that "I hope that is a large bracelet and not a snake." He said it was a bracelet, but the little girl looked up at me with big eyes and said "It's a real snake." I looked closer, and saw that the snake was wrapped around his waist and coiled around his arm. When the snake lifted his head, and I saw the tongue, I stepped back and said that animals are not allowed in the library. He said "Really", and I said "Yes". He and the little girl then left."

60mwade
Sep 18, 2008, 2:44pm Top

I wonder why that librarian thought the guy's race/hairstyle was important.

61Katya0133
Sep 18, 2008, 3:36pm Top

>60 mwade:

Maybe for identification in case the patron tries to come back with the snake?

62grkmwk
Sep 18, 2008, 9:49pm Top

@ 60 & 61: At a previous library, whenever we documented a policy violation in our library, we were required to document the patron's physical description, especially when we do not have a name. In addition to gender and ethnicity, identifying features such as hair style and color, eye color (if you note it), high visibility unique features (neck or hand tattoos, etc.), and anything else that might be helpful for future identification by other staff. Also, if there was ever a future problem with the same person, we'd have well-documented evidence that with a solid physical description could not be as easily refuted.

63FionaCat
Sep 18, 2008, 9:50pm Top

I would think that the snake would be identification enough :)

64grkmwk
Sep 18, 2008, 9:54pm Top

LOL! Yes, in this situation I would certainly hope so!!

65saxhorn
Sep 18, 2008, 10:09pm Top

BTW, did she describe the snake? How would she know if it were the same snake sneaking back into the science section?

66grkmwk
Sep 18, 2008, 10:13pm Top

If the librarian was able to give an accurate description of the snake, s/he should win an award! I would've screamed my head off and forgotten to notice anything about the snake...

67saxhorn
Sep 19, 2008, 8:52am Top

Ah, I would have loved to have seen that on YouTube.

68LordLoki
Sep 25, 2008, 10:00am Top

Earlier today we had a Chlamydia testing kit (complete with the patron's details filled in!) handed into our information desk..

In the past I have found a half empty bottle of Gin hidden in the Law section of my Academic Library...

69countrylife
Edited: Dec 5, 2008, 6:40pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

70IanFryer
Oct 17, 2008, 8:41am Top

Message 24 (which I know was a long time ago, but I've just joined...

"Especially in some of our larger cities, libraries have become a place of refuge for the homeless."

Sadly, twas ever thus. Check out Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London - even back then libraries were being used as unofficial homeless shelters.

71megtall
Oct 25, 2008, 12:07am Top

Poo on top of encyclopedias. The encyclopedias were obviously disposed of.

Urine on a full shelf of books.

Poo under a table in the common area right in front of the circ desk.

72akar
Oct 25, 2008, 9:59am Top

Ha, that antipshycotic ina a van gogh book was great:)

73jmgold
Oct 25, 2008, 12:38pm Top

Just had a good one this week. Tucked into the front page of a dummies guide to PC's book I was withdrawing was a $25 savings bond issued 1943. Turns out the person it was made out to still lived at the same address too.

My good deed for the week.

74countrylife
Edited: Dec 5, 2008, 6:41pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

75Illiniguy71
Nov 22, 2008, 11:53pm Top

I have found a dried up, obviously used condom, a condom wrapper in the men's room, but perhaps the most unusual find was live animals (lab mice and rats) that had been put in the book drop.

76richardderus
Dec 4, 2008, 3:44pm Top

Okay, several things: I am not a librarian; I did not find this in a library; but it's simply too good not to post somewhere in this group.

A student called Michael Wood wrote a paper entitled "The Mystery of Henry's Bicycle," an imaginitive title for something on the perenially overstudied Henry James. It's an enjoyable paper, I suppose, but it's really memorable for one line that I plan to engrave on a brick in my local library's donor's walk: "As you know, libraries are hotbeds of sexual tension."
See the whole paper here:
http://www.jonathanames.com/james/james.html

77CasualFriday
Dec 4, 2008, 8:52pm Top

I found photographs in one of our Impressionist art books - faces cut out and artfully pasted in where the painted images would be. People boating, picnicking, etc. I couldn't help but admire the work, and it was quite funny, but then again it was an expensive book.

78kaykwilts
Dec 5, 2008, 8:05am Top

At a Friends of the Library sale I found eighty dollars tucked in a book which I turned in.

79SylviaO
Dec 5, 2008, 8:57am Top

Kaykwilts, that must have been a pleasant surprise!

I am always finding strange things in our book return. A few times people have have put their mail in there. (I guess it looks like a mail box!) Once I found a credit card taped to a book with a note from the patron to "use it to pay off my fines".

At one of the libraries I used to work at, our book return was just a mail slot. One night a group of kids managed to get a kitten through it which set off the security alarm. What a mess! I felt so bad for the poor kitten.

And finally, when I worked at my college library, someone returned their library book with the condom wrapper bookmark still sticking out.

I don't care what anyone says. Working in a library is never dull!

80reptiliancandy
Dec 8, 2008, 8:02pm Top

At the library I used to work at I once opened a drawer of microfiche to discover a page ripped out of a porno resting on top of the fiche. I opened other drawers and--sure enough--found several more.

Recently at my library we found a large bottle of prescription medication. Out of curiosity we looked up the drug online and discovered it was anti-seizure medication!

81JCromer
Dec 9, 2008, 3:42am Top

A Few years ago, a male staff member returned from the men's room with a...used copy of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. I'm not sure why he didn't just throw it away. I certainly wouldn't have touched it!

82MarjolijnW
Dec 9, 2008, 6:11am Top

We found a small box with a picture of a lamp in our elevator. It was in the lost and found department for a whole day before we noticed some noise from inside. When we opened the box there was a live rabbit inside!

83amysisson
Dec 9, 2008, 5:20pm Top

SylviaO,

I hope the kitten was OK. But better not to tell me if it wasn't.

I hate that people treat animals as playthings and entertainment, as if they don't feel pain or emotions.

84Echobrain
Dec 11, 2008, 4:25am Top

I wear several silver rings every day and you know how it is with rings - if you forget to put one on in the morning you're constanty aware of its absence aand your hand just feels weird.
One morning I left for work, got in my car, started driving and then noticed that I'd forgotten to put my usual ring on my little finger. Tapping my fingers on the steering wheel as I blasted out my early morning rock just didn't feel right.
As I arrived at work and had consigned myself to a full day of having an annoyingly-lighter-than-normal little finger, I noticed something on my desk. No, it wasn't my own ring... but it was a ring. The cleaner had found a silver dragon ring on the floor and left it on my desk for me to sort out and find the owner. The funny thing is that this ring fit my little finger perfectly... so I put it on and wore it all day.
That was several years ago and I'm still wearing the dragon ring to this day. I'm not a believer in either coincidence or luck but maybe, just maybe, this ring of mine is a symbol of something... bigger. I don't know but that story is 100% true, freaky though it may be.

85SylviaO
Dec 13, 2008, 5:02pm Top

amysisson, don't worry. The kitten was fine. It was a little confused, but fine. I think one of our patrons ended up adopting it.

86amysisson
Jan 5, 2009, 5:55pm Top

^85

Whew! I can't begin to tell you how much I suffer when I think an animal is suffering. (Or a small child. Really, I hate when anyone suffers -- but it's especially horrible when it's an animal or small child -- we should be protecting them, not treating them badly!)

87sadiegrrrl
Jan 5, 2009, 7:27pm Top

i adopted two animals from in front of my old library (strays)...one of them was a puppy that i ended up giving to my parents...he started at 35 pounds and is now about 90 lbs and a giant doofus in the best possible way...the other was a kitten who lives with me now...both of them have...ahem...unique? personalities! whenever i mention this my friend says, "well that's what you get for bringing someone who hangs out at the library home!"

88annamaria1231
Jan 5, 2009, 8:05pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

89keywestnan
Jan 7, 2009, 12:08pm Top

Sorry if this has already been posted and I missed it -- it was included on a Shelf Awareness email the other day. I thought it was hilarious for the obvious reasons -- plus I happen to own a German shorthaired pointer (the breed of dog shown on the CD cover) AND she has been known to chomp down on library materials once or twice -- most embarrassingly, the book titled "Eat This, Not That."

http://www.gcls.org/drop.php

90selkie_girl
Jan 8, 2009, 10:48am Top

Opened up an old book in the history section and out fell an army supply list missive that was written during the Vietnam war written by a soldier

91aarque
Jan 9, 2009, 10:20am Top

I once opened a book to find a slice of cheese being used as a bookmark. Called the patron, she came in and said,"Yep...I recognize that slice!" Another time found a strip of toilet paper beind used as a bookmark. One time a young man came to the desk because he had found $40.00 in a book. We told him we would hold it for a month and if no one claimed it, it would be his. He called us twice a week for the month asking about it, and was a very happy kid when we finally called him to tell him the money was his.

92GondorGirl
Jan 9, 2009, 5:07pm Top

90- Not in a library, but in an old book I was given by my grandfather I found a flight supply list from a plane that bombed during WWII. The book actually mentioned the plane and crew members that were on the supply list. It was such a cool find!

93ThomasHarrington
Apr 4, 2009, 12:31am Top

I once was browsing the shelves in a military history library, opened an antebellum book, and out fell an old calling card bearing the inscription "Capt. George B. McClellan, U.S.A." i.e., U.S. Army.

Yep, THE George B. McClellan, who went on advance through the ranks and become commander of Union forces during the War Between the States, before being sacked by President Lincoln for incompetence and replaced by Ulysses S. Grant.

I turned in the calling card, but I still don't understand why it had not been previously found by whoever cataloged the book or processed it for the shelf. It was just sitting loose inside, obviously used as a bookmark by the book's original owner.

94leahbird
Apr 4, 2009, 1:06am Top

i'm not a librarian, but i love this thread!!

several people have referenced animals. isn't that what dewey the cat was famous for, being left in a book drop and then being adopted by the staff?

http://spencerlibrary.com/deweybio.htm

i love this idea, but i'm sure allergy suffers do not.

95manatree
Apr 4, 2009, 3:12pm Top

a few years ago we moved to a new building next to a wooded area that is often littered with dead little animal bits left over from the hawk on campus. we were afraid that our book drop would be receiving some of these tidbits. fortunately, the only oddity deposited to date was a baby pumpkin, decorated for halloween.

in our group study room, our cheap wall clock was swapped for an even cheaper & uglier one. another time someone stole the aa battery from the clock.

it is often amusing to see what people leave behind in the copy machine. you could write a book analyzing the receipts that people copy. the strangest was a fried egg left in the color copier. over hard, thankfully.

96ShellyS
Apr 12, 2009, 3:11pm Top

Did I miss this thread completely? And it's so interesting.

Oddest thing I found, just after closing, was a stack of gay porn magazines.

At one library I worked in, someone left his coat behind, draped over the back of the chair he'd been using. It was the middle of winter, and I'd seen the guy earlier, so he'd clearly left wearing just his suit jacket. There was still a bit of time left before we closed, but he didn't come back for it. Guess he wasn't cold enough to realize he'd left it behind.

97DavidHenry
Apr 14, 2009, 12:15pm Top

Check this out:

One day a few months ago I was fussing about in the periodicals display room (which is really really quiet). I recently came across two 150 year old biscuit tins, the labels on which celebrate the power of the British Empire, and a Marathon bar in a desk shelf. For those of you not in the know, Marathon bars ceased to exist around about the early 1990s and were replaced by Snickers.

It's always entertaining to came across the occasional snoozing professor.

98theexiledlibrarian
Apr 14, 2009, 2:02pm Top

when I worked at a university library, we would often find copies of students' bare behinds in the copy machine. that was nearly 30 years ago, they probably send copies of their bare behinds to their Facebook nowadays...

99beatlemoon
Apr 14, 2009, 2:40pm Top

>97 DavidHenry:

What did you do with the biscuit tins? I probably would have kept them! And a bigger question: what condition was the Marathon bar in? I once had a teacher that purposely kept a Twinkie in her desk, I suppose as some twisted science experiment; by the time I had her, the Twinkie was ten years old, yet still looked brand new. Ew.

100theexiledlibrarian
Apr 15, 2009, 9:29am Top

I'm pretty sure the life span of a Twinkie is approximately the same as the half-life of plutonium...

101skittles
Apr 15, 2009, 9:35am Top

#100: That's how they determined the half-life of plutonium!!!

102DavidHenry
Edited: Apr 15, 2009, 4:20pm Top

97: I didn't really think about it. I just put it in the bin. Why, do you think it would have been worth something? It was a bit soft but otherwise was in pretty good condition.

The biscuit tins are being used to hold microfilms so I just left them.

Something I forgot about - I was going through an old filing cabinet one time and found a really good line drawing (done in pen) of the periodicals room. Whoever did it must have been at that for weeks at least. I think it dates from when the library first opened in the early 1950s. I sit there sometimes and look out the window. It's nice to think that people have been doing the same thing in the same place as you for so long.

There's more but I'll post them tomorrow...good ones actually.

103LisatheLibrarian
Apr 16, 2009, 10:30pm Top

In the large academic library, where I used to work as the head of stack maintenance, we found in the stacks:

A never-used brick that clearly came from the same set of bricks to build the building (we never figured out where it came from)

A bendable "Dragonheart" (the movie) toy

The current issue of Playboy, that we thought was stolen from the Periodicals unit, but turned out to be someone's personal copy (that no one claimed from lost & found)

A wrapped block of wood with a call number label, tracked down to be a really old placemarker for items removed from the Reference Unit (in the 1970's)

104billykahuna
Apr 21, 2009, 10:15pm Top

A starfish in the toilet in the men's room.

105Nickelini
Apr 21, 2009, 10:43pm Top

A real starfish, or a toy? And are you close to the ocean?

106beatlemoon
Apr 22, 2009, 8:04am Top

>102 DavidHenry:

Nah, I was just curious to find out how well a candy bar holds up after so many years. :-)

I agree with your sentiment about thinking about the past. Which library are you in at Oxford? I studied abroad there; I was assigned to St. Edmund's and I loved their library. It's in the old chapel, so it dates back to - if memory serves correctly - the 12th century. I used to love to study high up in the old bell tower and ponder the history of the place, the people who'd been there before me, etc.

107DavidHenry
Apr 24, 2009, 10:06am Top

>106 beatlemoon: I get thrown around a lot! I'm in Zoology, Plant Sciences and the Radcliffe Science Library, but mainly Zoology. Did you do you library trainee year here as well or did you just study here?

Plant sciences isn't that old, it's only early 50s. I was once sent to the bell tower for being a naughty boy in school. I couldn't quite believe it.

108goydaeh
Apr 30, 2009, 7:47pm Top

I just discovered that someone interfiled Edgar Rice Burroughs and William Burroughs. I never would have imagined the hilarity of it.

109faerydust1023
May 10, 2009, 4:08am Top

I found a letter on our copy machine that was supposed to be from a school principal. It was a letter explaining that they had a computer glitch and the current grades on the report cards that came out that day were wrong. The letter was full of words spelled wrong and the principal's name was spelled wrong as well. I hope some parents wore out some bottoms when these kids got home. I really hope the parents caught that words were spelled wrong.

110mokelley
May 12, 2009, 10:11am Top

Found a rather large pair of women's underwear next to a public computer. Myself and another staff member had a lengthy discussion as to whether we should throw them away or put them in lost in found. We decided to throw them away.

111Nickelini
May 12, 2009, 10:24am Top

Good call!

112LiberryTeacher
May 20, 2009, 12:32pm Top

Every time it rains, water pores down one of the library's walls. The other day I found mushrooms growing out of that wall.

113Jackie.the.Librarian
May 20, 2009, 2:57pm Top

During closing-time bathroom checks - an elderly man with no pants on. Bob had to give him a towel. He's still in therapy.

114theexiledlibrarian
May 20, 2009, 3:47pm Top

Bob or the elderly man?? lol

115jamaicanmecrazy
May 20, 2009, 8:58pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

116smilingturtle
May 20, 2009, 10:02pm Top

My predecessor came in today for a quick visit and showed me an envelope that had been in a book that a student had chosen for our annual book swap (from books donated by school families, our older discards, etc.). In the envelope was an airline boarding pass from 13 years ago AND $200 in cash! My friend/predecessor had a swollen face from dental work and was trying to remember who had returned the envelope to her. You just never know....

117gaialover
May 26, 2009, 9:43am Top

I work in a medical library and one day I found a patient's case history inside a returned book. The patron got in massive trouble with the hospital, to say the least.

118tamara0605
May 26, 2009, 5:42pm Top

I walked into the bathroom one day to find a teenage girl coloring her hair. She said she had hard water at home, so had to use the libraries water instead. She used paper towels to (try) to clean up after herself...

119mlfhlibrarian
May 27, 2009, 11:53am Top

I work in a school library and every year the 6th formers (17-18 yr olds) who are leaving try to do something silly to mark their final day at school. One year after they had left my assistant found a page torn from a porn magazine inserted in an encyclopaedia. I became suspicious and after looking through every shelf we found ALL the pages of the magazine distributed randomly amongst the books - took us all afternoon to find them. I took them to the deputy headmaster who was very embarrassed and apologetic that I had had to deal with them. He was flabbergasted when I said 'I've seen worse...'!!

120mlfhlibrarian
May 27, 2009, 11:57am Top

44 - BeckaRah, when I started working in a public library I was told that a very old gentleman had bequeathed his entire collection of Playboy magazines to the borough reference library. Never saw them though, so I wasn't sure whether it was a library myth!

121gaialover
May 27, 2009, 12:28pm Top

119-- You reported a senior prank that didn't hurt anything? That's where the bad stereotypes of librarians come from.

122laurwarr
May 29, 2009, 9:07am Top

A dead fish in the book return bin. Just last week.

123SylviaO
May 29, 2009, 2:08pm Top

122 --Yuck. I hope your books didn't smell too fishy.

I'm always paranoid about finding a live snake inside the book return bin. I don't know why. It's just this irrational phobia I have. So far the worst I've gotten is a half a brick and some firewood. Occasionally, I find some money. That's always nice.

124libraryrobin
May 31, 2009, 12:17pm Top

100 gallons of glycol outside the dean's office and leaking down into the 2nd floor stacks. Yesterday was fun.

125gaialover
May 31, 2009, 2:26pm Top

SylviaO--Ack! I'm terrified of snakes and never thought of that before! Thanks for planting that thought in my head :-P

126FionaCat
May 31, 2009, 10:41pm Top

We had a large alligator lizard, minus the tail, in the library last year. We captured him in a box and set him free amongst the shrubbery against the math/science building.

127SylviaO
Jun 1, 2009, 8:31am Top

>125 gaialover:

Sorry about that, gaialover! But now you have an excellent excuse to make one of your co-workers empty the book return instead!

128irva
Jun 1, 2009, 11:46am Top

Found in our book drop:

* Mail (our book drop is an old post box)
* Movies from the local rental store
* A framed photo of a pet rabbit
* A toy giraffe

and a recurring favorite....

envelopes marked "fine money" with change... but no name, so we don't know who was paying the fine.

129theexiledlibrarian
Jun 1, 2009, 4:41pm Top

my husband (not me, I would never watch it!) was watching some goofy show called "Busted and Disgusted" or something like that...anyway a disgruntled fired librarian placed poo in the book drop. What a dope...she used to work there, didn't she KNOW about the surveillence camera??

130weener
Jun 2, 2009, 3:51am Top

>126 FionaCat:: We once had a coatimundi loose in our library for a couple of days. They finally caught it with a cage trap with an overripe banana...during our fancy yearly fundraising party attended by the mayor, local celebrities and other big shots.


Not sure how it got loose; someone brought it in. It would make sense that it would be from some children's wildlife program, but I don't think that was the case.

131SylviaO
Jun 2, 2009, 8:23am Top

>126 FionaCat:

That reminds me of a story I saw on the news a few months ago. A library a few counties over actually had to close down indefinitely because they had a skunk that no one could seem to find. (Even after they found it, I guess it took a while to get the smell out.)

132LakeJan
Jul 21, 2009, 11:42pm Top

I work in a rural county library system. In the book drop we've had eggs, berries, garbage, fireworks that went off, a live lizard, and a live snake, all of which pale in comparison to what we found the other day, a dead rabbit. We called the police for that one, not knowing how to dispose of it, and because this is the first thing in the bookdrop that was so disturbing. We don't know if it was roadkill that some clever joker found and gave to us, or if something worse is going on. We cleaned everything in the bookdrop with bleach, and had to discard one book that was blood-damaged. Life in a small town can be just as crazy as life in the big city.

133goydaeh
Jul 22, 2009, 9:40am Top

I used to work in a rural library and we'd get snakes (and mice, and hobo spiders) in the basement, but never in the bookdrop. We had a much bigger problem with books being stacked in the doorway in the morning rather than being in the big blue "BOOK DROP" box next to the door.

134susiesharp
Jul 23, 2009, 8:48pm Top

a water ballon in my book drop luckily it didn't have enough force to break..And the kids are lucky I didn't find out who they were because my balloon would have had force!

135goydaeh
Jul 24, 2009, 10:11am Top

Just ID'd a snake. Fortunately, it was telephone reference and I didn't actually see the snake. Unfortunately, the patron's wife is never going outside again.

136sialia
Jul 26, 2009, 1:31am Top

>123 SylviaO:
Snakes are not rare in our library, but don't worry, they seem to stay at floor level. :)

137VinoFonseca
Jul 26, 2009, 8:20am Top

A pair of men's briefs (not boxers) draped over a computer monitor. Fortunately, he had written his name in the band so we were able to call and have him pick them up!

138bookbabe50
Jul 26, 2009, 1:35pm Top

Suicide notes in the YA books. Panic.

139ShannonMDE
Jul 27, 2009, 4:54pm Top

As a patron at my local branch, I went by the drop box only to find a box of someone's Goodwill items in a box marked free sitting next to the box. Take your kid's outgrown t-shirts to the Goodwill box, the library does not want them. It made me mad and it wasn't even my library.

140sunny
Edited: Aug 5, 2009, 5:10pm Top

Just found the link to forgottenbookmarks.com in Matthew Dicks' blog.


141damfino83
Aug 7, 2009, 2:52am Top

Hopefully this counts, if not I apologize ahead of time...

At one of my local libraries the FOL have a lovely, tiny room just for the used books/magazines/etc. they're selling. I got a great copy of Mary Roach's "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers"- well, nice save for it reeked of cigarette smoke. I was looking through it at home and a letter from a woman's detention center fell out, I guess it was the bookmark? LOTS of personal info on the paper too, though I stopped reading it once I realized. That mixed with the subject of the book gave me pause...

142Guzlob
Aug 7, 2009, 2:18pm Top

A box of news bulletins, dating back to 1812. One of them reported a victory over the French near Berezina, and was signed by one Peter Wittgenstein. A pile of disturbing books which had belonged to the divisional library of 6th SS Mountain Division. A badly damaged gramophone record of a meeting between German and Finnish officers in Lapland in 1944. A copy of De Re Militari by Vegetius, printed in 1607. All of this in the open stacks, of course.

143guido47
Aug 8, 2009, 12:40pm Top

WOW.

Could/can you publish some of the above on the net.

144CliffordDorset
Aug 9, 2009, 6:31am Top

I find lots of that sort of thing left lying around. It's really great.

Such a shame I have to wake up, really ...

145Guzlob
Aug 12, 2009, 1:20pm Top

All of the above (except for the gramophone record, which has been stored away) are available for viewing at the National Defence University Library in Helsinki, Finland. The school has been in operation in one form or another since 1780, and the library has been the national dumping ground for related materials since then. Nothing particularly unusual about WWII-era war booty.

146damfino83
Aug 12, 2009, 5:22pm Top

I'm just a patron, but I figured this might be worth sharing. One day I was at my local library, flipping through a book that looked interesting and the pages stopped on a folded up piece of paper tucked inside. It was a letter, written to "the beautiful woman who reads this books". In halting english (but lovely cursive writing) some guy apparently thought his dream woman would be attracted to this book, and it was filled with compliments about this classy & attractive mystery lady. It said "get back to me" with no contact information, so I figured I wasn't the beautiful woman. I put the letter back to leave it to the true love that I guess would just *know* how to get in touch with him. Who says romance is dead? At least in the library it's alive and well. :)

147sonjbean
Aug 16, 2009, 9:37am Top

that's a cute story. :)

i work in a university library so we often find notebooks that students have left lying around ... but last week i found one which had full bank details (including the PIN) written in it! eek. of course, i handed it into lost property ...

148goydaeh
Aug 18, 2009, 11:26am Top

We seem to have a rush of elderly women checking out Dungeons & Dragons novels.

149aya.herron
Sep 12, 2009, 3:40pm Top

Years ago I found several tiny little frogs and a garter snake! Yikes.

150Josy_phineMarch
Sep 27, 2009, 8:38pm Top

Hm ... a blue ribbon from a Minnesota collie show.
It's not a Minnesota library, by the way.

151tymfos
Sep 28, 2009, 8:32am Top

I once found someone's health insurance card, that they'd used as a bookmark! (We got it back to its rightful owner.)

152mindywhi
Sep 29, 2009, 6:04pm Top

A patron sitting reading a magazine while curling her hair with a curling iron (plugged into nearby outlet)

153rebeccaslibrary
Oct 1, 2009, 4:08pm Top

I'm feeling lucky that my high school library has only turned up a few empty cigarette packs, a pack of birth control pills, wadded paper stuffed behind books, and roaches in the last three years.

154nclaypool
Nov 4, 2009, 2:47pm Top

We recently found someone's upper dentures in a ziploc bag. It will be interesting to see if the classified ad I put in the newspaper brings someone in to claim their teeth! I would think the owner would be missing them terribly...

155coasterb
Nov 9, 2009, 9:26am Top

A little suprised I didn't find mine in the list. A disposable razor, which had been used, on the sink in the mens restroom.

I also have had the Airline boarding passes one, they were only a week old though.

156RedheadFangirl
Nov 9, 2009, 3:50pm Top

Today, in book drop: Lemonade and a bits of a broken skateboard.

157mamzel
Nov 10, 2009, 11:13am Top

A half eaten salami sandwich left on a chair, not 3 feet away from a garbage can. The chair was pulled away from the table as if someone had meant to sit there, found the sandwich, and just left it there for me to find and clean up. And kids wonder why we don't allow eating in our library. I can only shudder at how much garbage we would have if we did! When I have cleaned the shelves over the summer I have found sunflower seed shells, candy wrappers, dessicated apple cores, and a rainbow colored assortment of wads of gum. Recently someone left blue sticky notes with inspiration quotes all over the place. I love working with teens!

158jjwilson61
Nov 10, 2009, 11:23am Top

I believe the theory is that if they didn't have to hide the food it might get disposed of properly. But with teens its probably a lost cause.

159totopup2222
Nov 10, 2009, 12:08pm Top

this is a very long chat, isn't it?????

160mamzel
Nov 10, 2009, 3:36pm Top

#158 - I only have to look outside in our quad area after morning break and lunch to know what our library would look like if we allowed eating and drinking in here.

161msladylib
Nov 11, 2009, 1:13am Top

>160 mamzel: However, it seems to me that food and drink work quite well in my local Barnes & Nobles. Of course, there is a space reserved for such, adjacent to the Starbucks stand.

I can't see why it wouldn't work in a library.

162ghussey
Mar 6, 2010, 2:31pm Top

Among other things a giant black bra and a receipt from the adult novelty store. Kept that receipt, it's my favourite. Student loans had just come in and it would seem that 'the Throbber' was a required item. I bet that student has some very fond memories of higher education!

163Imshi
Mar 22, 2010, 1:45pm Top

A pair of underpants, next to one of the computers.

An empty suitcase - I'm still trying to figure out what was up with this one.

164mamzel
Mar 22, 2010, 3:18pm Top

The empty suitcase makes me think of spy movies where a change of clothes is the only thing in the suitcase which is left behind after the spy dumps his old clothes in the garbage, adds a moustache, a pair of glasses, and a hat and calmly walks out past the bewildered police.

165Imshi
Mar 23, 2010, 8:18pm Top

Oh dear! Perhaps I should have alerted Interpol! :P

166ShellyS
Apr 6, 2010, 7:50pm Top

We're still waiting for the person who left their coat (nice leather one) to come back for it. It's been over a week. No one's even called to see if we have it.

167goydaeh
Edited: Apr 7, 2010, 12:17pm Top

Shoes, socks, and pants in the restroom, but it turns out that a staff member who bikes to work got changed, ran out to open the door for another staff member, and forgot to go back and clean up her stuff.

168Katya0133
Apr 7, 2010, 12:56pm Top

>167 goydaeh:

You're sure it wasn't Superman? ;) (I always wonder what happens to those piles of mild-mannered clothing.)

169mamzel
Apr 7, 2010, 1:02pm Top

>168 Katya0133: Maybe the homeless guys thought it was their lucky day?

170jjwilson61
Apr 7, 2010, 2:24pm Top

168> What would Superman be doing in the women's bathroom?

171varielle
Apr 7, 2010, 2:28pm Top

Well, phone booths do seem to have gone the way of the dodo.

172Katya0133
Apr 7, 2010, 2:39pm Top

>170 jjwilson61:

Supergirl, then?

173mariecie
Apr 9, 2010, 2:56pm Top

"The Joy of Sex" found under the vanity in the public men's room. Don't even want to think about what patron that might be!

174bookymouse
Edited: Apr 10, 2010, 1:12pm Top

In high school I worked as a Page in a public library. I always dreaded saturday morning bookdrop visits. Everything put through the slot landed in a closet sized room next to the entrance. When you opened the door the huge mound of returned items would cascade out. I opened the door once and a chipmunk ran out, we chased him out the staff door so he wouldn't have to cross the road. People would also put their fast food trash in there (including an almost full soda... 8 books had to be thrown out that day).

Being in the country we had our share of wildlife. One morning I arrived at work and found all the women peering around the doorway from the staff area into the library. There was one of the 2 male employees (a fellow page who I went to school with) chasing a bat around with an empty cardboard box. Trouble was, every time he got close he would scream and jump back. I ended up having to take over the bat round-up (I'm used to bats and rodents, I was always rescuing them from my cat).

One cold, windy, and rainy day the front doors slid open and in walked a soaked orange cat. He just sat down and looked around then started taking a bath. He picked the right place to seek shelter that day. Within 5 minutes he was in the staff break room being fed yogurt, cheese, tuna (lucky for him he showed up before lunch) and was wrapped in a flannel shirt that had been in our lost and found for several months. Our 80 year old maintanence man (who could usually be found sleeping at the microfilm machine) fell in love with the little guy. Everyone wanted to call him Marmalade (orange cat... very original) but I suggested Paddington (like the bear) and it stuck. When the HSUS guy came to get him, he had to deal with a mob of tearyeyed women. The animal control guy knows my dad though so I requested weekly updates on Paddington's status. Two days later I found out that a woman had called and described him and claimed him as her cat. A few days after that I learned that the woman was really our maintanance man's daughter and she didn't want to risk someone else adopting him. He even got to keep the name Paddington.

A lady I worked with at this same library was the unfortunate bookdrop emptier one year on the last day of deer season. She found a back leg (and all that goes with it, ie: blood...). Thankfully this about 2 years before I started working there.

175JohnYeoman
Apr 27, 2010, 12:19pm Top

My wife in a brief stint as a librarian found a copy of an Agatha Christie novel interleaved with bacon rashers. It seems they had been used as bookmarks. This might have been understandable in a Harold Robbins, but seemed out of place in a Mrs Christie.

Fortunately, bacon rashers cannot be used in a Kindle.

176pavlos1
Apr 28, 2010, 4:03am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

177snail49
May 1, 2010, 3:53pm Top

It seems like libraries are pretty universal in what detritus washes up in them. I have found money and photographs in returned books, bills and letters and bookmarks by the mile. If we can't trace the owner we put the money into the friends of the library fund. I once found a small gold coin(probably a quarter of an ounce gold coin) in a drawer in the library. I was going to raffle it for library funds, but the previous librarian who had worked there claimed it for himself!

178rowmyboat
May 1, 2010, 7:42pm Top

At the University of Massachusetts, they found a hamburger with mustard in a book in the stacks. The hamburger is long gone, but the book repair lady kept the book (in a plastic bag!) as a teaching specimen.

179hansarns
May 4, 2010, 6:21am Top

Some decades ago when Lady Chatterley's lover was finally allowed to be stocked in libraries a borrower hoping to borrow the book found it on the shelves but on closer inspection all its pages had been carefully removed. To read or to burn that is the question.

180skoobdo
Edited: May 4, 2010, 6:31am Top

Get a new, unexpurgugated copy of the book. There were actually some different versions. Published in 3 different versions, search , Lady Chatterley's Lover at wikipedia's website.

182carptrash
Jun 28, 2010, 6:14pm Top

Condom (open but unused?) in the young adult room - believed left by teens who nabbed it from the "free condoms" bin at the food co-op. Or is this just wishful thinking? eek

183susiesharp
Jun 28, 2010, 6:57pm Top

How about this one the condiment bandit mayonaise, ketchup, cornsyrup what a mess to clean off your books!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/14/library-condiment-vandali_n_612021.html

184skoobdo
Jun 29, 2010, 2:42am Top

The arrested woman is losing "her marbles'.

What about inventing a book drop container that accepts only books made of paper, alarmed when vandalism happens?

185bnielsen
Jun 29, 2010, 7:25am Top

Our local public library was badly damaged some years ago by a fire, that started with someone pouring a couple of gallons of gasoline into the book drop container.

186skoobdo
Jun 30, 2010, 1:39am Top

Security cameras should be installed at indiscreet places to catch vandals or "nutty" people with a full view of the culprit's face.
It cost taxpayers' money but I think it is worthwhile to prevent
vandalism at library places such as a incident you have described.

187susiesharp
Jun 30, 2010, 8:38am Top

#185-Wow thats awful!

188tymfos
Jun 30, 2010, 8:47am Top

#185 That was truly awful!

#186 Security cameras should be installed at indiscreet places to catch vandals or "nutty" people with a full view of the culprit's face.
It cost taxpayers' money but I think it is worthwhile . . .


Our library was able to get a grant to upgrade its security system and add some security cameras.

Our book drop is a located external to the library, which lessens the chance that vandalism will damage our actual building. We have had library materials damaged as a result of book drop vandalism.

189skoobdo
Jul 1, 2010, 1:52am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

190bdat1983
Jul 1, 2010, 6:42am Top

Plastic bag containing wet swimming trunk together with a net of onions

191mamzel
Jul 2, 2010, 11:30am Top

EWWWW!

192carptrash
Jul 2, 2010, 10:21pm Top

Did I mention the birth certificate (c. 1952) I found in a donated book? I actually tracked the person down and returned it today. eek

193skoobdo
Edited: Jul 3, 2010, 5:24am Top

Birth Certificate as a bookmark ? Bad idea !

You are a good P.I.

194carptrash
Jul 3, 2010, 10:29am Top

Thanks skoobdo. Yesterday the library received the Robert Arellano (a local author leaving town) book collection at the library, about a million really good books, but mostly beat-up paperbacks that I am about to leave my comfortable hame and go in early and do something with. It's a bit like standing right under a huge cornucopia. eek

195nouveaustar
Jul 6, 2010, 5:57pm Top

Our custodial staff found a very large and empty vodka bottle in one of our women's bathrooms. He handed it to our branch manager as "evidence" and she houses it in her office. We've also had someone stealing all the toilet paper out of the men's restrooms ...

196skoobdo
Edited: Jul 7, 2010, 5:48am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

197justjim
Edited: Jul 15, 2010, 3:59am Top

delurk
I'm sure most members here read this webcomic anyway, but just in case...

Things left behind.


reactivate cloaking device

198mamzel
Jul 19, 2010, 3:06pm Top

I once found a stolen math final in our copy machine. Another time I found a flyer about Senior Ditch Day. I chased one student down who had been copying documents for financial aid and left a whole packet behind.

199untitled841
Aug 2, 2010, 2:43am Top

"Found Art" that is what I call the vast array of things that I find in our library books.
So far the collection includes:
a pressed flower
a teenage love letter written in a graphic novel style that was a bit too graphic
many bookmarks
an artists watercolor test page (that was pretty to look at)
pictures of: children, weddings, birth announcements, scenery (you would be surprised how many people will come back to the library to claim the pictures).
In children books its common to find markings, but lately they are starting to color in the lines instead of random scribbles.
Lastly there are plenty of stains that show up, these induce guessing games as to how the stain got there and why its only on certain pages, and how did it skip a few pages?

200Violeten
Aug 2, 2010, 11:34pm Top


An item that was CLEARLY herbal tea, put into a book on drugs, along with a bag of asprin.

201Bibliobat
Aug 12, 2010, 7:16pm Top

In a book called 'Birth control in the modern world' a half used pack of contraceptive pills.

202goydaeh
Aug 13, 2010, 4:20pm Top

Okay, I have a lot of books that come with CDs and DVDs or even sewing patterns, but that's really pushing it.

203LaraUCTLibrarian
Sep 8, 2010, 10:57am Top

A student in my academic library once asked if she could move some books to use the wall plug. When asked why she needed, she responded that she wanted to use it to plug in her toasted-cheese-sandwich maker.

204mamzel
Sep 8, 2010, 3:00pm Top

Did you promise to help her if she made one for you? ;^)

205theexiledlibrarian
Nov 1, 2010, 9:57am Top

Pig poop. In my library. This morning. Stuck to a student's shoes and tracked onto the carpet. One of the joys of teaching in a farming community...

206mamzel
Nov 1, 2010, 2:54pm Top

I don't think anything is smellier!

207nicsreads
Nov 3, 2010, 4:04am Top

>174 bookymouse: Like you I've had wildlife - 5 possums - including one asleep in a filing cabinet!, a swallow's nest -complete with chirping baby swallows and a mouse that ran over my foot and had me out on a bench screaming in 10 seconds flat ; much to the amusement of passing Year 10s!

208pkg427
Dec 27, 2010, 4:39pm Top

I recently found a bra on a shelf in our Teen Room!

209manatree
Dec 30, 2010, 8:07am Top

>208 pkg427:

....blame it on that darn Judy Blume!

210skoobdo
Edited: Jan 6, 2011, 1:42am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

211harmonyfb
Feb 14, 2011, 8:05pm Top

We got a returned book which had a bloody bandaid stuck to the back of it. :P

212skoobdo
Edited: Feb 15, 2011, 4:05am Top

Do not touch this book, go and look for

David Caruso as one of the actors played in the lead role as

CSI Miami's investigator in "CSI " TV series.

There are many irresponsible and "careless" persons everywhere in any part of the world from North Pole to South Pole. You need to spray disinfectant to the book before you do your reading. It must be a quick dry type, I recommend to use "Lysol".

213deweydenouement
Feb 15, 2011, 3:06pm Top

Patron: "Look at this book I found."

*Colleague looks at large blob of unidentifiable goo on book.*

Colleague: "What happened to it?"

Patron: "What happened to it!? Someone used it as a Kleenex!"

Later the blob of goo was identified. Not a pleasant discovery, to say the least.

214SpongeBobFishpants
Feb 20, 2011, 8:26am Top

First off, I'm not a librarian. This is mostly due to 3 reasons: 1. I was traumatized following my first visit when I learned I was expected to GIVE back Green Eggs and Ham. 2. I'm sure I would be expected to work rather than read. 3. People often aggravate me.

But, as an avid purchaser of used books I have found:

Boarding passes
A kodak photo taken of the Beatles during their first visit to the U.S.
Letters and unpublished poetry from a famous U.S. historical figure
Very old newspaper clippings
Insurance forms
Business cards
Junk mail
Family photos
Personal poetry
Notes from a biography in process
Dried leaves

215tymfos
Feb 22, 2011, 4:08pm Top

as an avid purchaser of used books I have found:. . .

I recently bought a used book via Amazon, and found tucked within its pages a copy of someone's newspaper route complete with a diagram of the neighborhood, notes on payments received, and even somebody's phone number! It looked quite old, as was the book.

216euphemasaurus
Edited: Mar 14, 2011, 9:55pm Top

Well, I've been working as a library asst. for over a year now and have yet to see an animal (or animal part), thank goodness. I've found a bunch of random bookmarks, my favorite was just a small torn piece of pink construction paper that said "I love you."

Last week we had someone leave their opened jar of peanut butter in the magazine room. I guess they were done snacking.

Oh, and I don't think I've seen this on the board yet, but anyone else have a local flasher? Please don't say it's just us....

217IanFryer
Mar 14, 2011, 3:36pm Top

I wonder what he uses as a bookmark.

218mamzel
Mar 15, 2011, 11:29am Top

Ewww!

219skittles
Mar 15, 2011, 11:39am Top

if he shows "it" off, "it" is probably too small to use for anything but a bookmark!!

even when you consider quality over quantity.

220Cat_Miller
Apr 21, 2011, 7:41pm Top

We found a manakin bust (just the head, one of those type you see at hair styling colleges) He had a beard painted onto his face and was wearing a graduation mortorboard hat and had a red tie around his neck - he was on the top shelf of our large print fiction section.

221Lidster
Oct 9, 2011, 6:53pm Top

I had a 2nd grader bring in a huge (at least 3 ft across) wasps nest in to put on the nature table. I heard buzzing. I asked him if he had sprayed it. No, why? We put it in a big trash bag and gave it to maintenance.

222mamzel
Oct 12, 2011, 3:32pm Top

You may have averted someone's trip to the hospital and a subsequent law suit!

223manatree
Oct 12, 2011, 10:30pm Top

Apparently, Red Bull is doing a bit of guerrilla-geocaching marketing. We found a four pack marked with a registration code stashed behind a column.

I'm hoping that Little Debbie decides to do the same.

224mamzel
Oct 18, 2011, 12:46pm Top

Oooo... Ghirardelli Chocolate is welcome in my library!

225theexiledlibrarian
Jan 25, 2012, 9:31am Top

Ugghhh...just found a book on the shelf full of boogers. Straight to the trash can.

226tymfos
Jan 25, 2012, 3:13pm Top

Gross!

227DanMat
Edited: Jan 26, 2012, 12:50pm Top

Recently:

A sandwich bag filled with black soil, one softened, mushy apple, a hotel-sized soap with dried bubbles and scum ring, 4 mangled DVD covers (sans DVD's of course, perhaps "shucked" is the appropriate term for them), a few acorns, one unopened bag of corn chips. These are all behind the books mind you...

>216 euphemasaurus:

On my walk to work this morning I saw a dead crow. Perhaps one of our loyals will happen upon it and carry it in. Anything is possible!

The boogers...that one is gross! Though we have our hackers. I feel bad for the custodial staff when I hear a prolonged snorting, throat-clearing, spitting, hacking going on in one of the public lavoritories (lockable and single person for some unfathomable reason which explains all the hidden bars of soap).

228eliendriel
Jan 29, 2012, 10:14am Top

I work in an academic library, and as far as critters in the library, we've had the usual mice and voles. My favourite leave behinds, however, usually come from donations to the library. We've found an entire decade's worth of birthday and anniversary cards, deflated balloons, banana peels used as bookmarks, tea bags and popsicle sticks used as bookmarks, mouse poop, pay checks, income tax forms, income tax statements (W2's, etc), personal letters and photographs, and a variety of other foodstuffs. Another thing I consider a sort of leave-behind would be the inscriptions on books donated. Some of them are very personal and heartfelt, and its sad sometimes when you realize that the book was never read.

229sweetiegherkin
Jan 29, 2012, 11:53am Top

> 228, My mother always thinks similarly and says that she would never give up a book that some inscribed for her. (Otherwise, she usually donates once she's done with a novel.) I tend to think that these things happen eventually when someone passes though.

230fleurdiabolique
Feb 19, 2012, 5:37pm Top

We just found what appeared to be someone's x-ray or bone-density scan, full-body, sized at about 2" x 6" and being used as a bookmark. (In a children's book!)

231asnewton
Feb 26, 2012, 9:52pm Top

One of my library helpers found a half-eaten biscuit that was stashed behind the books

232Teacup_
Feb 27, 2012, 2:59am Top

I found mouse poop under and behind the Arts & Crafts shelves. Apparently the mouse doesn't like it.

233theexiledlibrarian
Apr 4, 2012, 9:48am Top

The library has been turned into a rehearsal hall for 4th graders learning to play recorders. If I have to listen to one more(bad) rendition of Hot Cross Buns or Mary Had a Little Lamb, I may have to reach out and touch someone.

234Cailiosa
Apr 6, 2012, 2:06pm Top

One of our librarians discovered that a patron peed on one of the shelves in the back corner of our non-fiction section, ruining a bunch of new books. Maybe they were protesting the lack of a public restroom on the second floor? Regardless, who does that kind of thing?

235EliaJuarez
Edited: Apr 7, 2012, 1:00pm Top

Poop.
A child squatted down and dropped a deuce in the middle of the children's department in full view of the mother, who did not even apologize, just asked if we had a custodian.

236tymfos
Apr 7, 2012, 12:48pm Top

What is wrong with people these days?

237DanieXJ
Apr 8, 2012, 6:42pm Top

:-O

238justjim
Apr 8, 2012, 9:23pm Top

Here's a handy thing for all you Librarians who LibraryThing. A notebook to record all the fun things that happen in your libraries.

239vy0123
Apr 9, 2012, 6:08am Top

Use paper that's pee-proof.

240greatSPOCK
Apr 9, 2012, 9:20am Top

We used to have the bird man visit and we had to walk into the room one at a time holding hands and his pretend bird would ask you questions and he got very upset if you looked at him and not the bird. Then you chose a book. I think they stopped it because one of the teachers knew him from a different city.
hollis.

241EliaJuarez
Apr 9, 2012, 3:38pm Top

#238 - I have one =D

242manatree
Apr 10, 2012, 2:29pm Top

#234 & #235.....

.....we had a serial fecal depositor in our main University Library a few years ago. What made it even worse is that they would leave their mark on an open book. The mess is bad enough, ruining a book is just rude.

243EliaJuarez
Apr 10, 2012, 6:38pm Top

#242 - Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew!!!!!!!!! That's just insane.

244librariankayla
May 2, 2012, 4:01pm Top

I've found the occasional condom or two, but that is the oddest thing I believe.

245vy0123
May 3, 2012, 5:24am Top

I'm not a librarian but I've worked in a bfd library with its own air pressure to keep the dust out. At another library's exquisite reading room, I once noticed someone leave behind a twisty scrunch together flower balloon. It was such a beautiful whimsy thing for the place. The owner sometime later remembered to return to collect it.

246ShellyS
May 3, 2012, 11:03am Top

I don't think I've mentioned this before: Back in the '80s, at closing, another librarian and I happened upon a stack of gay porn magazines left on a table in the reference department. There were at least a half dozen. I wasn't sure if someone merely forgot to take them with him or if he was donating them to the library. In either case, they were tossed, but not before we looked through them. ;)

247Cheryl62
Feb 24, 2017, 12:01pm Top

I don't know what is worse: opening a Talking Book case and (what seemed like) hundreds of roaches running out, or opening a DVD case full of cat pee.

248melannen
Feb 24, 2017, 2:10pm Top

Bearing in mind that we are the public library literally across the street from one of the largest military/signals intelligence bases in the world: a printout of a zoomed-in satellite map with codenames on all the buildings and strings of nonsense alphanumeric characters written on the back.

(...I hope it was just a training exercise.)

249nicolemaddock
Jan 25, 4:08pm Top

AN ADULT HUMAN MOLAR

250manatree
Edited: Jan 25, 5:38pm Top

For us, the oddest hing left was a small ornamental pumpkin left in the book drop. We proudly displayed it on our front desk well into winter.

Unfortunately, back in December, some lout dumped a bunch of snow into the book drop, ruining most of the books that were already in there.

251DanieXJ
Jan 28, 7:13pm Top

Yep, you definitely win >249 nicolemaddock: Yeesh...

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