I’ve written a time or two about things people leave in books — lottery tickets, treasured bookmarks, photographs, bills and much more. But recently, I read an article about libraries in the New Hampshire area that realized someone had gone through their books and placed anti-school bookmarks in many of their books. Employees of several branches spent more than 30 hours going through their books and removing the bookmarks which were secretly inserted sometime in May of this year. Not only were there anti-school advertisements, but bookmarks advertising a free domain website.
While free speech is important, not only was this an unwanted program by the libraries themselves, but it made all kinds of extra work for those involved in removing the bookmarks. And they were discovered accidentally when a shelf fell over and all of the books fell off, opening to reveal the blue bookmarks. As I read through this article, there were the usual comments from people who were disturbed by the idea. But, I couldn’t believe that one person remarked that they ALWAYS leave their business card in library books. Interesting way to advertise, but how would they like it if we walked into their place of business and stuck up a poster with our library hours in their window? Probably wouldn’t go over very well.
What do you think about this idea of sticking things in books as advertisement?