‘Mystery medal’ left in Draper Ave. ‘Little Library’

Among the many “treasures” dropped off in the Draper Avenue “Little Library,” a box filled with free books anyone can take, one has recently been deposited that deepens a mystery. The box hangs in front of a house across the street from La Jolla High School, and homeowner Sonia Teder-Moore discovered a “mystery medal” was in it.

“We’ve been watching the medal-mystery unfold and were disappointed to see them disappear ... but not entirely. My additional puzzle piece is that one of the medals ended up in the library box we installed on our driveway. I sincerely hope someone comes forward to explain the medal mystery and the inspiration behind it!” she told La Jolla Light via e-mail.

The “mystery medals” are a collection of marathon medals that were tied to a fixture and strung between a utility pole and a house on Draper Avenue (just a few doors down from Teder-Moore’s) in December 2016. A few months later, maintaining their configuration, they were moved across the street immediately in front of La Jolla High School. At an unknown date, the medals were taken down.

“My daughter checks the box every day to see what people leave inside, which she calls ‘treasures,’ and she told me a little while ago someone had left a medal,” she said. “We’ve had magic wands, snow globes and stuffed animals left in there, in addition to books and magazines.”

The “Little Library” box is part of a national program, sometimes known as Free Little Library, that encourages passersby to take a book and/or leave a book. There are similar boxes further down Draper Avenue, on Beaumont Street in Bird Rock, and near Soledad Mountain.

“I always wanted to put one up,” said Teder-Moore. “’I’ve had this one for two years and it’s been great. We haven’t had any problems with people leaving trash or anything in it. My hope was always that the students at La Jolla High School waiting for the bus would get curious about what it is and walk over, and take a book.

“The first time someone did that, it made me so happy! Plus, I meet so many neighbors this way. People stop me when I pull in and start a conversation about it, which is nice.”

The bibliophile said when she first posted the box two years ago, she stocked it with books, but since then it has become self-sustaining. “People drop off a book after they take one most of the time. Sometimes they don’t and that’s fine because sometimes people just drop off books without taking one,” she said. “Once someone left an entire bag with an entire series in it. You will find absolute gems in there.”