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Found in a Library Book

closed reserve drawing from OPL

Librarians find the darndest things in returned library books, everything from a petrified, half-eaten chicken sandwich to saw blades to divorce papers. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The librarians at Oakland (Calif.) Public Library have collected the treasures they’ve found in books over the years and digitized them to create the “Found in a Library Book” project. The ephemera includes drawings ranging from crude to intricate, photos, homemade bookmarks, maps, personal letters, odd lists, and more. It’s all endlessly fascinating and incredibly bingeworthy.

Here are a few of our favorites:

wee yay image from OPL

books to read from OPL

big robot daddy drawing from OPL

negative from OPL

Do you recognize any of these lost materials? Explore the whole collection now. And if you're interested in learning more about preservation efforts at libraries, be sure to mark your calendar for Preservation Week 2023!

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