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Today is Look Above The Bathroom Ceiling Day

   January 29th, 2015

It's not, actually, but perhaps it should be. We had a plumber in the library today fixing one of our men's restrooms. In the course of his repair work, he had to go into the drop-ceiling in the bathroom, and this is what he found:


I've heard of library bathroom ceilings being used as dead-drops for drug deals - which at least has a logical utility - but I don't understand why these books would have ended up in the bathroom ceiling.

They all seem like old travel books, had been part of our branch library's collection, and have all been withdrawn and deleted. Not just lost and deleted, but actually stamped by staff as withdrawn.

I have no idea how they went from deleted from the branch to above the men's room of the main library. Plus, it's a ten foot ceiling too, so it's not like it'd be an easy place to store reading material.

So, if you get a chance today, pop your head up into the bathroom ceiling - who knows what interesting things you may find (I for one can't wait to check the rest of our bathrooms).

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7 Responses to “Today is Look Above The Bathroom Ceiling Day”

  1. Laurie Says:

    We one time had a patron living in our ceiling tiles many many years back. Don’t ask me how, I just heard the story. :/

  2. Jenny Says:

    That is too funny! I’m glad our library bathrooms don’t have drop ceilings…

  3. A Says:

    We had Manga that constantly went missing and always ended up in the men’s restrooms. They were thoroughly cleaned before going back onto the shelves…

  4. Jeff C Says:

    Sounds like something middle school boys might do for thrills.

  5. JMW Says:

    When I used to do weeding, one of our board members would often pull things out of the weeding pile and put them back on my desk. There were occasions when I had to hide what I was weeding in order to make sure the books ended up gone. Maybe you have hidden stores of books above all your ceilings?

  6. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Laurie: wow, that’s scary. It reminds me of the woman living in a guy’s closet – I’ll take mystery books over a person every time.

    @Jenny: oh, I’m sure there are still plenty of other hiding places!

    @A: We talked once about putting a table outside the restrooms with a sign saying “do not take library items into the restrooms,” but then realized that what might happen once people check items out is probably way worse than what might go on in our restrooms. But yes, staff does spend time cleaning suspicious items.

    @Jeff: that actually is a possibility. Our maintenance guy figured out that if you climbed up on the toilet, and then stood on the safety rails on the wall, even a shortish person could reach the ceiling – so a motivated could definitely could.

    @JMW: Ha. That happened during one of our big weeding projects too – things I’d weeded ended up back on the shelf. I ended up coming in when we were closed and carrying everything out of the building myself. But who knows what kind of stashes haven’t been found yet.

  7. Sarah Says:

    Right before I started working at my current library, we had someone stash an entire salmon in the ceiling of the men’s bathroom. It took weeks for our facilities crew to find the smell, and then a few more to get it cleaned up.

    It’s now one of the grossest and most infamous stories about our branch.