Sunday, February 10, 2013

LEFT INSIDE: Ann's Library Card

I was very good about keeping track of my library card when I was growing up.  Losing it would've been a very big deal and I'm sure I would've been extremely upset.  When I moved to Chicago getting a library card was as important to me as getting a phone or setting up my electricity account.  To this day I carry my library card with me in my wallet at all times. Never know when I need to make a spur of the moment visit.

Apparently Ann Felton of Lenox lost her library card sometime in May 1943.  I found it in a book I bought two or three years ago -- appropriately, an ex-library book. That's all I noted. Foolishly I forgot to copy down the title.

Our Ann was a fairly voracious reader.  Most of her books were returned within days.  Maybe she was just fickle.  I like to think she enjoyed most of what she read and couldn't get enough of books.  Though in one case it appears the librarian mixed up the spots. Remember library stamps? Taken out on May 1 and returned on April 26?  Was that the day she read H.G. Wells? I wonder how she felt when she lost her card. She must've been using it as a bookmark.

Lenox is Lenox, Massachusetts. Cliffwood Street still exists. As does the Lenox Library Association which is still housed in a historic building that has served as the library's home since 1874. Below is a photo of the reading room. Swank library!


  1. Damn, this is a great find! Wonderful stuff, John! As a voracious library user myself -- and my part-time job being at a library -- I'm fascinated with these old library cards, and this find is a really neat one. I wonder if it'd be possible to track this Ann down? Probably not... but it's a neat idea for a story. :)

    1. Well, I poked around the web, and found this list of Massachusetts obituaries that has an Annette Felton on the list who, age-wise, could be the Ann Felton who lost her library card in 1943.

  2. Swank library it certainly is. The only thing I have found inside a used book is the visiting card of a tourism cruise director based in British Columbia. In the early days one occasionally found small pictures of Hindu gods and goddesses inside books.