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Katie Huynh takes a look at all the little curios that patrons have left in items that have circulated through Minitex over the last few years.


For me, one of the best parts of reading a new book is choosing a bookmark. But if you don’t have an extensive bookmark collection like myself, you might use whatever is readily available to you to mark your page. And there is a chance you might forget to take your unusual bookmark out when you return the book to the library. Did you know that these random things you leave in your library books turn into little treasures for those who process loans and returns in libraries? Well, at least here at Minitex they do.

During the past year, Wilson Library Campus Locations staff processing loans have started a wall of all the unique things they find that patrons leave in books. This wall exhibit includes postcards from Germany, old photographs, drawings (including one of a dislodged eyeball), an Egyptian stamp, and a single Uno card. Starting this wall made me think about what other interesting things Minitex staff have found, and in some cases kept, over the years from processing loans and returns. Here is a list of some of the more notable items:

  • Ticket to the Parthenon in Athens, Greece.
  • A dollar bill. 
  • A to-do list in preparation for a romantic evening.
  • A check for $8.50 dated 1983 - today that check would be worth about $22-$24.
  • A birth certificate - not a wise choice for a bookmark, but fortunately we were able to return this one back to the patron.
  • Two unused duck-themed greeting cards found in separate books months apart (pictured above). Makes you wonder if the same forgetful patron left them or if it’s just a coincidence. 
  • A salon sampler pack that included very sparkly press-on nails (also pictured above).

All these “treasures” found in books in some odd way make us feel connected to those who borrowed these books and reminds us of what a treasure it is to be able to share these materials. So here's a thanks to all those forgetful patrons!

Written by

Katie Huynh
Resource Sharing Specialist - Campus Locations
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