Saturday, October 08, 2005

Bookmarks Found in Library Books

When I am reading library books or when I am looking in a book for an answer to a reference question or when I am browsing through the books that I might weed, I find lost bookmarks. They may be bookmarks that my library has printed to promote our programs or recommend books; they may come from the government agencies and nonprofit organizations that supply the library with bookmarks to market their services or promote causes, such as daily dental care or recycling plastic; occasionally they are fine bookmarks of hand-made paper or embroidered silk that I am sure are sorely missed. People also leave items that become bookmarks only because they were used as such: grocery lists, church bulletins, train tickets, movie tickets, utility bills, wedding invitations, unused tissues, torn strips of paper towels, newspaper clippings, notes passed in class, post-it notes, postcards, baseball cards, cash register receipts. I recently found a hand-drawn doll dress pattern on very thin paper in a book about dolls. I can only imagine the story behind each lost item .

Friday, while I was reading A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit, I found a Dominican University GSLIS Alumni Council bookmark. On one side of the wine colored bookmark with white lettering is a list of the alumni council members, including the names of some librarians that I have met. The other side lists the council's 2005 events, including the McCusker Lecture to be held in October, no date, "call for further details." How did the lost bookmark get into a book about getting lost?

Someone I know may have read this book before me. Three of the librarians in my library attended the library school at Dominican University, one when it was still called Rosary College, and our neighboring libraries are full of GSLIS alumni. I know several residents of our community who are currently attending the library school, and several Dominican students come to our library every semester to interview us for their class assignments. Who could it be?

I am enjoying the book and this mystery seems very appropriate to the mood of the book.

Solnit, Rebecca. A Field Guide to Getting Lost. New York: Viking, 2005. ISBN 0670034215

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