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You may have seen the NPR article making the rounds on social media lately, all about a librarian in Oakland who collects items she has found in books returned to the library where she works. This prompted us to check in with our team and ask: what have we found in books and items returned here at Schaumburg Library? 

Reference Librarian Sangeeta shared this story: “Many years ago, when I was in the Circulation department, I found around $700 in a returned book that I was checking in. The user who had borrowed the book was overwhelmed as it was her pay money." 

Cataloging Librarian Rachel said, “I've found prayer cards from funerals used as bookmarks. While a bit morbid, I thought it was a nice way to keep your loved ones in your life - journeying through your reading with you!” 

Here are other items our staff members reported finding in returned items: 

  • A large maple leaf  

  • Thank you cards 

  • Used popsicle sticks 

  • Pages from a diary 

  • COVID vaccination cards 

  • Playing cards  

  • Tickets to various events and venues 

  • Some beautiful book marks 

  • A visa/green card application 

  • Airplane tickets 

  • A receipt from a Dollar Tree in Arizona 

If you ever accidentally leave something in a book you return to us, we do attempt to notify you. We’ll hold onto items for up to three weeks, then items are mailed if we can confirm the identity of the owner or shredded if we cannot.