Display forgotten temporary bookmarks in books

Display forgotten temporary bookmarks in books
Display forgotten temporary bookmarks in books

(Oakland) Family photos, concert tickets, poems and shopping lists… An American librarian for years collecting forgotten temporary bookmarks in borrowed books, a spectacle of an unknown life is now on display to the general public.

Jennifer Cain
French media agency

This collection “tells the story of the residents here, of our city in a different, unexpected and library-related way”, enthuses Sharon McKellar, at the origin of the exhibition at her public institution in Oakland, near San Francisco, California.

For years, she’s kept all the things in the books she collects warm. “I wanted to share something that was really interesting to me and that could pique other people’s curiosity,” she explains.

Among the bookmarks made by the children and photos taken at Christmas are letters written but never finished, words of love and thank you postcards – “I got the check”.Alice in Wonderland.

Many parts of anonymous borrowers life.

Some of the letters or cards, sent or not, “feel very personal,” Sharon McKellar, head of youth groups, told AFP.

The librarian laughs, “There are words and cards that seem incomplete and I really want to know the rest.”

cooking recipe

About ten years ago, M.I McKellar started collecting, then started a blog on the subject before the public library, equipped with a new website, offered him the chance to showcase his collection.

So I made the categories: words, art, photos, cards and letters, bookmarks, lists, do-it-yourself things, made children, etc.

Incomplete classification: where a grandson interviews his grandmother, asking how she immigrated from Vietnam decades ago?

Also, where is the roast beef recipe referenced as “better behave!” right before the ingredients list?

Messages of self-reflection, verses loaded with emotion… “It feels as real as inner thoughts”, observes Sharon McKellar, as if they were “trying to talk to themselves, during a difficult time, to re-stimulate”.

The librarian dedicated part of the exhibition to temporary bookmarks – a Prévert-style menu where readers will become familiar with: a concert ticket, a Euro 2012 football poster, a phone card, a brush purchase receipt, a boarding collected at the airport.

Sharon McKellar’s favorite remains a commented version: “So I just wanted to say I think she’s crazy, whatever Newt does, it’s either really cool or really sexy!!!”


The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Display forgotten temporary bookmarks books

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