Anonymous library employee posting photos of most bizarre book titles
An anonymous Vancouver Public Library employee is posting some of the best items in the collection online. (VPLgold / Instagram)
"Murder by Milkshake."
"Plants Behaving Badly."
"Office Emails That Really Click ;)"
"Please God Let it Be Herpes."
There's gold hidden in the shelves of the Vancouver Public Library, and an anonymous employee is digging it up.
The person behind an Instagram account called VPLGold is finding some of the most unique titles in the VPL's collection, then posting them online.
The above titles are among about 200 photos of book, DVD and CD covers posted by the account in its first year.
Some are non-fiction, like "Try Not to Suck," a biography of Chicago Cubs' manager Joe Maddon, and "Kiwi: The People's Bird," the history of – well, you guessed it.
Others are suggestively-titled works of fiction, including "Buns" by Alice Clayton, a mystery novel called "Fingering the Family Jewels" and a children's book titled "Love, Triangle."
And many are handy how-to guides: "How to Have the Latest Pant Styles," "Raising Snails for Food" and "Team-dance: A Guide to Canine Freestyle," for example.
"While the library possesses so many historically significant and seminal pieces, it also has books on how to repair your VHS player, or, what it takes to become a professional thumb wrestler," the owner of the account told CTV News Vancouver.
"If could get on my soapbox for a moment, I like to think of this account as a satirical take on knowledge, information, and technology."
The Vancouverite who posts the photos wishes to remain anonymous, but said being an employee provides a unique opportunity to uncover some of the obscure items. The account was started as a way to share content to those who would otherwise never know it existed.
"When handling hundreds of items a day it's hard not to chuckle at some of them… I hope in some way it stimulates interest in the VPL and public libraries in general."
The person who runs the account has found most of the items that have been posted, but does encourage others to contribute. Most have been found organically while cleaning or sorting.
"The library is like the gift that keeps on giving."
CTV asked for their favourite post, and got three answers: the aforementioned dog dance guide, "Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy?" and the a book with this complicated tagline:
Most of the followers are friends and library staff, the account owner said, but some have stumbled upon it from elsewhere. And some of them are able to provide extra information on the books featured online.
"For example, I posted about a book called 'Murder By Milkshake' because I thought the name was funny, but turns out it was about this Vancouver man, Rene Castellani, that killed his wife by putting arsenic in her milkshake," they said.
"Many of the anomalies I find turn out to have a rather interesting backstory."
Here's a quick look at some of the posts made in the last year: