Library Newsletter (Page 61)

Why Page 61?

If you open any book at Webster Groves Public Library, you will find that the library’s name and address are stamped on page 61 of that book. Why page 61? Nobody knows. People who have worked here a long time will offer the inevitable answer that ‘it’s how we’ve always done it.’  And it’s true—you can find the oldest book on our shelves, something that’s been sitting there for decades, and find that page 61 bears a stamp with our name and address.

Most libraries have one certain page they always stamp. Oddly, our neighbors at Richmond Heights Memorial Library also stamp their name and address on page 61. Can it be mere coincidence that two libraries in the same area chose to use the same page? For a long time we pondered why it would be that page, but could come up with no reasonable answer.

Libraries are very traditional places, but also places steeped in a kind of interest and intrigue all their own. Nothing represents this better than the mystery around books stamped on page 61. When it came time to name our newsletter, we didn’t want to name it one of the overused and obvious, punny titles that library newsletters always get: Check It Out, Book Bites, Read All About It, et cetera. So we chose to call it Page 61, in tribute to this mystery.