Weird Libraries: The Case of the Steak Sauce Bottles

A1 Sauce Advertising.jpg

As those of you who have worked in libraries know, patrons often do strange things. Something about the smell of books inspires people to act differently than they otherwise would. Avon Lake Public Library in Ohio is currently dealing with one patron doing just that.

A1 Steak Sauce.PNGStarting in January, the staff began to find A.1. Sauce bottles hidden throughout the bookshelves. According to The Chronicle, 28 bottles have appeared. They seem to be clean, have had their labels removed, and are usually found lying on their sides behind books.

Though the appearance of the bottles is likely a joke – the bottles don’t smell like alcohol nor are they part of any geocaching adventure – the prankster’s identity remains unknown. Instead of solving the mystery, however, the library has discovered the local community’s love of puns. On the library’s Facebook page, one person said that they should ask “steak holders” for any clues to the mystery.

I appreciate the staff’s good-natured response to the entire scenario. I suppose that in the scheme of things, there are much worse items they could find amidst the nonfiction.

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Image Attricbution: R.C. Maxwell Co., “A1 Steak Sauce Sign,” Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University, c. 1916,


17 thoughts on “Weird Libraries: The Case of the Steak Sauce Bottles

  1. Strange but not surprising. I worked in a public library for many years – so I’m not easily surprised. I once found a piece of cooked bacon in a returned book that was (I presume) being used as a bookmark!

    Liked by 2 people

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