CALEDONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s not unusual to leave a personal belonging behind while you’re visiting a public place.

And it’s certainly not unusual for those places to have a lost and found box.

What you don’t see every day, is how the Caledonia branch of the Kent District Library reunited lost items with their owners through the power of social media.

“Over the summertime we had lots of patrons. They tend to lose things. … A lot of water bottles started gathering in our lost and found. We were kind of joking in the back about how many we had and how we should throw them out and make a little display to get patrons to come back and pick them up,” said Assistant Branch Librarian Sam Holland.

A joke and a simple idea to clean out the lost and found turned into a viral social media post for the Kent District Library.

“I got a call from the Caledonia staff, and they said, ‘We have this post it’s going well. Would you share it from the main page?'” said Josh Mosey, the digital marketing strategist for KDL. “It has had a reach of 1.6 million so far and that’s about a million more than our best reaching post ever.”

The viral social media post featured lost and found water bottles that had been named: names like Animal Lover, Doppelgangers and Luxe.

“We just sat down and tried to be silly about it and come up with different names,” said Holland.

The water bottles are displayed in the showcase near the entrance of the library. You can’t miss them when you go in and out. Thanks to that and the social media post, ‘The Lost Bottles of Summertime’ has been a success.

  • The Caledonia branch of the Kent District Library reunited lost items with their owners through the power of social media.
  • The Caledonia branch of the Kent District Library reunited lost items with their owners through the power of social media.
  • The Caledonia branch of the Kent District Library reunited lost items with their owners through the power of social media.
  • The Caledonia branch of the Kent District Library reunited lost items with their owners through the power of social media.
  • The Caledonia branch of the Kent District Library reunited lost items with their owners through the power of social media.

“If you look at the display now, you’ll see it’s a lot emptier now than when the post originally went up because people have been coming in and saying, ‘Hey that’s my water bottle,'” said Mosey.

When asked if she has any plans for future displays, Holland said she’d have to come up with something.

It seems like the answer is obvious right? Lost mittens, hats and coats left behind: It could be coming to your social media feed and a library near you soon.

“I think it has to do with people being able to see themselves. I love the idea of people seeing these water bottles and realizing the library is a place you can get lost in but also found,” said Mosey.