Family photos to bacon bookmarks” Library workers share unusual finds

The South Milwaukee Public Library, 1907 10th Ave., once had potatoes placed in its book return.

A receipt, scrap of paper or even an actual bookmark is commonly used to mark a place in a book.

What about hundreds of dollars? A wrapped cheese single? Filled out tax forms? Real bacon?


These are only a few of the more unusual things shelvers in libraries across Southeastern Wisconsin have found in returned or donated books.

Karen Grochowski was the point person to sort through book donations and also worked on returns at the Franklin Public Library, 9151 W. Loomis Road. She recently retired after 18 years at the library and still has many of the things she found in books over the years.

“I think it just gives a sort of interesting glimpse into the life of our books lead, where they’ve been, that kind of thing,” Grochowski said.

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