My KDL Story: Anonymous Patrons
(Service Center Tribute Wall)
"Every one of these meant something to someone. It reflects their personalities,
what they think is important, who they are..."
If walls could talk, those that line the sorting area at KDL's Comstock Park Service Center would have many tales to tell: of love and longing, faith and family, humor and humility.
For more than a decade, collection services assistants have collected something besides materials to be distributed to branches. Items that are found inside books and other items become part of a quiet tribute to patrons. In fact, says staffer Nanette Jasperse, some who have worked at the Service Center for years and years still don't realize what the walls represent.
Hundreds of items used to mark places, or simply pressed between pages and forgotten, line the walls. There are knitted bookmarks, love letters written in colored marker and Bible study discussion notes. There are also sports ribbons, children's drawings, photographs, pressed flowers and airplane and bus tickets.
"Every one of these meant something to someone," Nanette says. "It reflects their personalities, what they think is important, who they are."
Nanette points out a hand-written note — likely from a young child, maybe whose parents had split up — that she calls "a real heart-breaker." It reads, in part, "Dear Mom... I love you very very very very very much... Every time I am with Dad I am thinking of you."
Staffer Mary Christensen has her own favorite, another hand-written note that is also from a young person, "Dean W.," to a teacher, Mr. Rauwerda:
"I saw this book at a garage sale and immediately thought of you because you mentioned it once in class," he writes. Dean ends his note with a compliment, saying his talks with the teacher "really helped me straighten some things out," and an apology "for any pain I've caused you or any disrespect I've shown you."
Nanette said she often wishes they could reunite found items — especially photographs — with those who left them behind. She once found someone's paycheck; that made it back to its owner, she said.
If you've inadvertently left something in a book that has been returned to KDL, we might have it on our wall. Rest assured, it's being well taken care of.
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