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30 Weird and Wacky Bookmarks Left in Library Books

30 Weird and Wacky Bookmarks Left in Library Books

Library staff discover the most interesting finds.
3 colorful bookmarks on a wooden backdrop

One of the oldest existing bookmarks dates to 6th century AD. Made of ornamental leather and lined with vellum, it was attached by a leather strap to the cover of a Coptic codex found in Egpyt. The codex is housed at the Chester Beatty museum in Dublin, Ireland, though it’s too fragile to keep on display.

While some people still use leather bookmarks, others have become more creative in modern times. Read on to learn some of the surprising “bookmarks” our library staff have unearthed on the job.

Recreational items

  • Small bags of marijuana crumbs
  • Playing cards
  • Pokemon cards (jumbo and standard size)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! cards
  • Concert ticket stubs
  • Boarding passes (less common these days)

Of sentimental value

  • Letter written to a deceased parent
  • Birthday cards
  • Family/vacation photos
  • Graduation announcement
  • Children’s drawings

From the home office

“If it’s something we can obviously return like an ID card, we will,” says Brittany DeShazo, on-call page at Hillsboro Public Library. Depending on the item, library staff will leave notes in the lost and found area in case patrons come looking. However, not everything is easily returnable and in some cases the owners may not even want the bookmark back.

  • Two $100 bills
  • Vintage business cards that predate the internet
  • A visa application
  • A penny
  • Debit cards
  • High school ID cards
  • Utility bills
  • Invoices from auto repair shops
  • Cashier’s check for $600

From the bathroom

  • Fake eyelashes
  • Padded bra inserts
  • Squares of toilet paper (unused)
  • Adhesive backing to sanitary pads

Notes written to library staff

“We get a lot of notes from patrons to us,” says Christine Sorensen, senior library assistant at West Slope Library. “All feedback is welcome, whatever the passion level." 

Here are examples of what the notes say:

  • “Why do you have this book?”
  • “This book has inaccurate info.”
  • “This DVD skips. It made me angry.”
  • “Maybe you should have this [CD] cleaned.”
  • “So glad you have this book!”
  • “I really like coming to the library.”

If you need a conventional bookmark, just ask a librarian. And if you enjoyed this blog post, sign up for the WCCLS newsletter.

Photos courtesy of Brittany DeShazo and Christine Sorensen.