I work in a busy public library and am constantly amazed by the variety of things people leave behind. For instance, car keys – we have on average 4 sets of car keys in our lost and found drawer at all times. Can somebody please tell me how you get home without your car keys? Don’t you need them to start your car?
Another popular item is cell phones – a big-ticket, stress inducing item to lose track of. I always feel bad about this and try to answer the phones whenever I hear them singing their sad little lost song in the drawer. Often it’s the owner calling from someone else’s phone trying to locate their own. “You left it in the library!” I say, and we have a good laugh and the mystery is solved.
Much harder to resolve and equally traumatic is the instance of people who leave their flash drives in one of our computers. I’ve been there done that, and I know how it feels. People store important information on those tiny bits of technology – things like business proposals, midterm notes, personal journals, and final drafts of their novels. It’s like back in the day when everyone carried planners. You lose it and you lose your mind.
We also deal in lost coats – last check we had three, backpacks and shoes – did you really not notice you were missing a shoe? Canes, we’ve found four over the past year and they’re all alike. We suspect it’s the same person losing them, but have yet to catch the owner in the act of abandonment.
But all these things pale in the face of the Grand Champion of lost and found items. One day at closing we were astounded to find a brand new, state of the art, convertible double stroller, sitting all alone in the children’s section.
What? Someone entered the library with a giant double stroller and managed to leave without it? Poor young mothers, I feel for you. I know, sometimes life with young children gets so stressful that you’d forget you own head if it wasn’t attached. (But seriously, your stroller? That’s more important than your head.)
Anyway this particular story had an interesting ending. One day a young man came into the library and glanced at the stroller collecting dust in the manager’s office. He skidded to a halt and stared.
“Excuse me,” he said, “but I think that’s our stroller. We lost it a few weeks ago, and my wife thought someone had stolen it.”
No, not stolen, just forgotten. I hope he broke it to her gently. In conclusion, the stroller and it’s owners were happily reunited, and our manager has his office back – for now anyway.
Are you missing your eyeglasses, your wallet, your trumpet or your wedding ring? Can’t find your notebook, your credit card or your soccer shin guards? Check out the library. Books aren’t the only things we collect.