California | 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.

Posted at 10:00 am

Jennifer Cain
France media agency

This collection “tells the story of the residents here, from 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 kept all the things in the books she collects warm. “I wanted to share something that was really interesting to me and that I thought might pique other people’s curiosity,” she explains.

Among the bookmarks made by the children and pictures taken at Christmas are letters written but never finished, words of love, and thank you postcards – “I received the check.” Can we read on the back of an illustration ofAlice in Wonderland.

Lots of parts of anonymous borrowers’ lives.

Some of the letters or cards, whether sent or not, “look really personal,” Sharon McKellar, head of teen 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 began collecting, then started a blog on the subject before the public library, equipped with a new website, offered him a chance to showcase his collection.

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Then I made the categories: little words, art, pictures, cards and letters, bookmarks, lists, do-it-yourself things, kids made, etc.

Incomplete rating: Where does a grandson interview his grandmother, asking her how she immigrated from Vietnam decades ago?

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

Self-reflection messages, emotionally charged verses… “It feels as real as inner thoughts,” Sharon McKellar notes, as if they were “trying to talk to themselves, during a difficult moment, to re-stimulate.”

The librarian devoted part of the exhibition to temporary bookmarks – a Prévert-style menu where readers will familiarize themselves with: a concert ticket, a Euro 2012 football poster, a phone card, a receipt for the purchase of wiper blades, a boarding pass collected at an airport.

Sharon McKellar’s favorite remains an annotated version: “So I just wanted to say I find her crazy, whatever Newt does, it’s either very cool or very sexy!!!”

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