Saturday, 11 April 2015

Bookmarks and biscuits.

As we continue our preparations for the move to our lovely new building, we've been reflecting on our favourite memories of Stromness Library, and we would love to hear yours. 

Perhaps you remember coming to the library as a child and have memories of previous librarians, or you visited us while you were in Stromness on holiday. We would love to hear your stories, memories, favourite books and encounters with the library cats. 

Do please get in touch, either through the comments below or by dropping us an email. We are gathering all these stories from and about the library for our New Chapter exhibition which will celebrate the history of the library in Stromness when we move to the new building. We want to capture as many stories as we can from the most important part of any library - you, the people who visit it. 

Over the years we have worked here there have been many memorable moments, some funny, some sad, and some unrepeatable! 

Today we were recalling the many items we have found inside returned books. Along with the more predictable discoveries of bookmarks, letters, bills and the like, we can reveal that we once opened a book to discover a custard cream biscuit between the pages. Whether this had been inserted as makeshift book mark, or left behind by accident during a particularly exciting reading-while-biscuit-eating-session, we will never know. 

When we mentioned our find to a colleague in Kirkwall library, he claimed to have once come across a rasher of streaky bacon being used as a book mark. While we were unable to verify this claim, we would strongly discourage our readers from reading while eating a fried breakfast  - just in case.

If you are in need of a bookmark we have lots here to choose from, including our very own Orkney library bookmarks -  save the custard creams to go with your cup of tea!


  1. Great story, Stromness! I hope you get lots of lovely anecdotes.

  2. Thanks Dusty! We are looking forward to hearing from our lovely readers, and will, of course, accept any confessions of inappropriate food-as-bookmarks incidents in the strictest confidence ;-)

  3. A couple of experiences in Stromness Library back in 2010/11 are tied in with my getting used to life in Orkney. One was returning a book, apologising for it being late and asking how much the fine was, and being told "we don't charge fines here, we're too nice".
    The other was meeting two of the successive library cats, and reflecting on the improbability of any library south allowing a cat to sleep curled up on the counter!

  4. Thank you Simon. While we would never encourage folk to have overdue library books, - and remember you can now renew your books online, as well as by phone or in person at either library - we hope that being nice will encourage more returns. We still miss our library cats and are hoping that one may adopt us when we move to our new building :-)


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