Browsing articles tagged with " books"

MISSION: Library Love

Libraries are some of my favorite places in the whole world. I love books, and I love the worlds I can discover and explore within them. Plus, I love the way libraries smell. (Someone please tell me I’m not alone in this.)

Affiliated Agent J completed her very fist mission and has left her mark of kindness at a local library.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Affiliated Agent J


10:45 a.m.

Hi Laura!

I hope you’re having an awesome day! I completed my first mission this morning, so I wanted to send you the images and recap.

Summary: I found an extra sudoku puzzle book in my desk last night, so I decided to write a nice note and leave that note and the puzzle book for a lucky someone to find. I packaged everything up in an envelope and decorated it with some stickers. I wanted to go to the library this morning to pick up some new books, and I decided that that would be the perfect place to drop of my little treat. I browsed around the library and picked up my books. Then I found some empty desk carrels, and I left my note and gift there (and quickly snapped a photo) before heading to the check out counter.

Thanks for the inspiration! Have a wonderful week!

game and card


Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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MISSION: RAK at a Dog-Friendly Place


I love them more than shoes and handbags. I love them more than chocolate. I love them more than, well, almost anything, really. And Affiliated Agent A, who completed this mission, is a super-duper dog-lover, just like me. This one came right from her heart, for sure!


And I LOVE this mission.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Affiliated Agent A

San Francisco, CA

6:05 p.m.

The location of the drop off was at a dog-friendly place, so what better way to share the love of dogs than to give a gift about a dog!

book cover

We attended a work-in-progress documentary screening called Guarding Dogs. When we entered the building, we did not realize that the entire lobby area was on camera. This was going to be a challenge at best.

secret agent l note and card

Almost everyone at the screening brought their dog and it was an enclosed area open to all. So this was not a good spot either for a drop because someone would surely see. What to do?

secret agent l note clpose-up

It was decided that the best place to drop off the book would be in the bathroom. Not the most original place but it’s the easiest place to not be seen. Our hope is that whoever found the book enjoys it and spreads the love of dogs.

oogy book in restroom

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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MISSION: Kindness in the College Library

For those of you familiar with the world of academe, you know that the library is the place to go when it comes to studying, finding some peace and quiet, and getting things done. I love when my Affiliated Agents complete missions in university libraries, since I work full-time in the world of All Things College-y.  What a nice surprise for someone to find after a lot of long hours studying and gettin’ their learn on.  Way to go, Affiliated Agent Shiny!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Affiliated Agent Shiny

college library
Fort Worth, Texas

3:07 p.m.

Hi Agent L, Affiliated Agent Shiny here, belatedly reporting my second completed mission. I made the drop on Wednesday, February 8th at 3:07 p.m. at my college campus’ library in Fort Worth, Texas. I had received a Too Much Information (TMI) paperweight a while back, as part of a white elephant exchange gift, and thought it would be the perfect thing to use.

paper weight

I wrote a note, attached the Secret Agent L business card, and tied it all together with a piece of tulle. I spend a lot of my time in the library working on most of my homework and such – it’s such a peaceful place to focus and I love having so many books readily available. :)

inside of card

paper weight and card

I had planned to make my drop between 12:30-1:30, when usually no one is in the library, so naturally that was the day people kept coming and going, haha. After I returned a few hours later, I wandered between the aisles, pretending to be looking for a book, while I searched for a shelf where no one would see me place my package. Then, just in case anybody had noticed where I had gone, I walked through about five other aisles on the opposite side of the library, and slowly made my way back outside.

I hope whoever found it has put it to good use, with assignments and work starting to build up. I love the anticipation and excitement these missions bring! I definitely can’t wait to do another.

gift on book shelf

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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MISSION: Right On, Rookie!

You know what’s awesome?

Men who are kind.

I love when I get missions from the dudes out there. And this one? Well, let’s just say that I am one lucky gal to have Affiliated Agent M from Rolling Meadows, Illinois, in my ranks.  This guy’s awesome. And he’s funny, too!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Affiliated Agent M

high school staff room
Willow Creek Community Church
South Barrington, IL

9 p.m.

I’ve read several of the missions online, and they are part of the inspiration for doing these things for other people. I notice that many of the missions are women, and they bring a lot of thought and feeling to the missions that they do. But being a guy, and even though I have my thoughts and feelings about doing this rookie mission, I found myself sneaking into church where I planned to drop off this gift, singing to myself the song from the old TV show Secret Agent Man. Maybe just a guy thing, but do the women agents have this song in mind too?

Mission De-briefing:

The staff at the church that I go to is fairly big, and they work really hard each week. I picked one of the staff rooms used by people who lead the high school groups, since they deal with so much with all that high schoolers go through these days. I picked up one of those small gift books that you can find at lots of stores, this one by Max Lucado, one of my favorite authors. It has some inspirational stories and topics in it. I stopped off at church late one evening when there are only a few classes or small group meetings going on, and all of the staff have gone home. Being a volunteer with master keys to most places inside the building, I was able to let myself into the high school staff room, which is normally locked at the end of the day like most of these sections of the building. (Do Affiliated Agents get training on how to open locked doors for missions like this?) I dropped off the book on top of one of the copy machines in their room, which should get noticed by whoever is first to use the machine in the morning. Like you say, this will hopefully brighten someone’s morning, and some people may share books like this with others when they are finished reading them.

Ma’am, Affiliated Agent M reporting in, first rookie mission complete. I learned that I may need a better camera than the one that comes with my cell phone. It takes decent pictures in some lighting, but some indoor pictures aren’t as clear as with a regular camera. Noted for the next mission.

As one of our neighbors usually says, “Have a fabulous day!”

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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MISSION: Everyone has a story

I could not have said or done better myself. LOVE this mission.



May 31, 2011


Affiliated Agent T (assisted by Covert Assistant S)


a Sheetz in Western PA




I am a huge book lover, and my favorite books are always those that tell the stories of real people. I am a firm believer that every person has a story to tell, and we are the authors of our own destiny. We all have the power to make our story great, but sometimes we all need a little encouragement. My mission today was to bring that encouragement to someone who may need it.

A while ago, I had found a bunch items that followed this theme. They included a paperweight, a mug, and some decals that said “write your own story”. I decided to add a journal to this, and throw in a little packet of coffee for the mug. I used a plain white bag, and decorated it, so that the recipient would know it was a gift for him/her. I then jotted a little note of encouragement for the recipient to go out and write their own story, and included the SAL card. I put the bag all together, and tied some pretty ribbon on it.

The drop was harder than I expected. With the weather nice, everywhere we went to make the drop was really crowded. Stealth was pretty much impossible. Finally, we stopped at a Sheetz gas station, and I had my husband (Covert Assistant S) make the drop. He placed it out in the open, in front of the store portion of the gas station. By the time we pulled out of the lot, someone had picked up the gift.

I truly hope this small act of kindness provided some encouragement for a person in need.



I can really identify with Agent T and S in this mission. We all have a story to tell. Next time someone is telling you theirs, take a minute to actively listen and find the way you can identify. I’m always surprised when I open my ears and my heart.

Number Two

An involved Pittsburgh volunteer, Vivian also spends her time with the Garage League (of Writers), The Pittsburgh Morning Mix, Zola Design, LLC, UpTo Know Good, The Mattress Factory, an amazing kitchen co-op, biking with Flock of Cycles, hiking, and traveling with her boyfriend and dogs.

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MISSION: Books Around the World

If only you could meet Affiliated Agent C from Munich. Seriously. This woman? Incredible.

I’m lucky–I’ve met her. She emailed me several months ago to say that she’d be coming to the States on business, and she wanted to “stop by Pittsburgh” to meet me.

I know, right?!

We coordinated a time and place, and wouldn’t you know it, the darling woman brought me presents from London because she knows I used to live there.

We had a wonderful chat over tea here in Pittsburgh, but little did I know that she was on the last leg of a four-city, two-continent mission of kindness.

I did say she’s incredible.

PART ONE: Olga Kaminer’s Christmas in Russian (a compilation of classic Russian Christmas stories)

23 December, 2010

airport waiting area
Munich, Germany

I left Munich on December 23rd to spend Christmas at my sister’s place in Northern Germany. At home I wrote the “This gift is for you” letter to go with the present. I always explain in this letter what the “Secret Agent L” project is about and ask people just to pass on the gift if they do not like it.

At the airport I got the wrapped (FAIL!) book security scanned and finally dropped it in the waiting area. I decided to stay close, because this was an airport and the gift an unattended item. So if somebody would run away from it screaming for the bomb squad I could stop it.

In fact people looked at it, but then decided to ignore it and went away. I watched a kid who wanted to pick it up so badly and explained the mother what was written on it (“This is for YOU whoever you are”), but she did not let him. I sat there for an hour and then I had to leave for my flight. I think the book ended up in the hands of the people cleaning up the airport, which is totally fine. They do not get enough attention and appreciation anyway.

PART TWO: Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights

1 February 2011

Stansted Express {the train from Stansted Airport to London, Liverpool Street}
London, England

After the experience in Munich I decided to not wrap the book anymore and just drop it together with the little letter about the SAL project in an envelope stating the “This is for you whoever you are” message. Doing it that way the person finding it could immediately see it is just a book and nothing dangerous.

For London I chose a famous classic of the British literature and I dropped it in the Stansted Express – the train from Stansted Airport to London, Liverpool Street. I use this train very often when I visit my company’s office near the London Walls.

PART THREE: Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

22 February 2011

the A Train
New York City Metro
New York, NY

I was so super excited about my East coast vacation that I wanted something about an adventure for the New York leg of the trip – and what could be better than the Mark Twain classic?

I dropped the book in the A train of the New York Metro on my way back from Washington Heights to Midtown in the evening of February 22nd.

PART FOUR: Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked

25 February 2011

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, where the SAL project started, is the final city on my book mission tour. Pittsburgh means a lot to me and so I chose a book that means for several reasons a lot to me as well. It also fits because – in the very end it is a love story between a girl from Europe and a guy who lives in Pennsylvania.

What makes this part of the mission very special is that I dropped in a Pittsburgh bus on my way to a personal meeting with Secret Agent L.

Dear Secret Agent L – thank you for starting SAL, thank you for this fantastic evening in Pittsburgh, thank you for the ride back to the hotel. Can’t wait to see you again on my or your side of the planet.

Affiliated Agent C, I love you! THANK YOU for this amazing mission of kindness and for such a wonderful and thoughtful evening in Pittsburgh. I am SO glad we got to meet, and I can’t wait to come to Munich to see you again!



Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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MISSION: A Treat in a Taxi

I’ve said it a eleventy billion times before: I LOVE BOOKS.  Affiliated Agents, wanna do a mission that will make me smile?  (Not that that’s your goal, of course!)  Do a mission that involves a book.  Reading is one of the best ways to heal the heart, empower the spirit, and enrich the mind.  Affiliated Agent C thinks so, too.

28 September 2010

Affiliated Agent C

an unattended taxi
Charlotte, NC

approximately 10:15 a.m.

Have you ever read a book and thought “Wow, I hope others read this book!”? I picked up a book on Sunday called Hector and the Search For Happiness. I’ll admit, I read it all in one evening (yesterday) as it was a simple and uplifting story. Afterward, I decided to pass it on with my mission for the week and what better day than a rainy one?!

book and gift card

I tucked it into it’s little raincoat along with a Starbucks gift card with a handwritten note on it. I was out of agent cards (time to print some more!) so I wrote on the gift card “An Affiliated Agent of” on the back (to be sure to keep the energy going!). Inside, it said “May you find Happiness, Love, and Peace of Mind. Any day you wake up is a good day and then You make it Great!”

book and card

I made the drop between my haircut appointment and breakfast, before going into work. The choice for this drop was slightly more targeted considering its contents. Since the book was about traveling to learn what makes others happy/unhappy, I thought it would be interesting to pass it on to someone that also travels and learns, especially since they could share their own lessons with others. Luckily enough(!), there was an unattended cab parked outside of Starbucks. Even the cabbies need coffee…! :)


So I quickly propped the book up on the windshield/mirror, took a picture and bolted towards Bruegger’s Bagels for brekky.  Since cabbies see a lot of people throughout the day, and also have down time waiting, what better gift than a book and hot cup of coffee to keep the mind moving in the right direction?! To the cabby out there, Be well!

taxi windshield and gift

Affiliated Agent C, this truly is a wonderful mission, created and carried out with so much thoughtfulness and creativity.  Bless you!

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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VIDEO MISSION: Mission for Men!

Alright, everyone.  It’s finally that time.  My first video mission!

I decided that I wanted my first video mission to focus on kindness for men, since so many of my Affiliated Agents are women and so many of our acts of kindness are geared towards what women would like.  Men need kindness, too!

Guys, this is for you.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Secret Agent L

Charles Spiegel Men’s Clothing Store
Squirrel Hill neighborhood
Pittsburgh, PA

8:02 p.m.

With the help of my anonymous accomplice, today’s video mission (for men!) went off without a hitch. The gift? The book Stuff Every Man Should Know. Here are some photos of it. Pretty cool, huh?


book closeup

inside of book

inside of book

I had a lot of fun making this video, and I’m looking forward to doing more missions this way.  But wow!  The stakes really go up when you try to do a mission and video record it!  Talk about nerve-wracking!

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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MISSION: Books and Bows

I love books.  Especially ones that inspire and move me.  Sure, my time in graduate school was filled with books, when I was studying to receive my Master’s degree in English.  But I have to confess: not all of those books were inspirational.  (There’s something about New Criticism and Structuralism that just, well, doesn’t move me.)

Luckily, there are people out there like Affiliated Agent L who decided to share some inspiring books on behalf of kindness.  And she included her children in the act as well.  Now that’s inspirational.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Affiliated Agent L (and mini agents)

Auburn, Maine


A few weeks ago I picked up four inspirational books at the local Goodwill. I of course had to read each one first! Tonight I decided it was time to put our plan into action. With the help of my children we placed 2 dollars in each book. The first two books we wrapped in brown paper bags and tied them with ribbon. Each book had a card to go along with it, and in the inside I filled them with inspiration quotes.

inspirational book 1


books wrapped

The Snoopy card wasn’t purchased for this purpose, but it went along perfectly so we had to use it! My printer didn’t like the pdf of the Secret Agent cards, they printed out as all black page, so I hand wrote the information on the back of each card. Hopefully I can find a different printer to use for our next mission. We had to stop after wrapping the first two as we had dinner plans.

snoopy card outside

snoopy card inside

handwritten note

The kids were so excited to get started so we brought along the one with the sunflower ribbon. At first I wanted to leave it in the bathroom at the restaurant but I knew my family would be there and I wanted to make sure a stranger received the gift. So as we drove around we scouted out different locations, finally I saw a dim lit parking lot by the Dollar Tree and I quickly placed the package on a car, they had a Veterans License Plate so we were happy with our choice. As I was getting ready to take a picture another car pulled up and scared me!

When we got back home I remembered that we had some reusable bags from Girl Scouts so I wrapped the last two books in these and tied them with more ribbon. I will be leaving one tomorrow at work, one in the Auburn Public Library and one at the local United Methodist Church.

girl scout reusable bag

wrapped books

I had so much fun getting these together and at the same time teaching my children about Random Acts of Kindness. Thank you for letting us be a part of this amazing program!

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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MISSION: Library Love

I recently went to Borders Bookstore and bought four new books. I need more books like a need a second head. Seriously. I should invest in a branch of our public library system, simply because I am running out of room here at Command Central for all of my treasured tomes!

Speaking of libraries, our dear Affiliated Agent J from right here in Pittsburgh completed a really cool mission at a local branch near the University of Pittsburgh.

Aaaaah…a girl after my own heart.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Affiliated Agent J

Main branch
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Oakland neighborhood
Pittsburgh, PA

1 p.m.

I love to read, and I thought a simple mission idea would be to put bookmarks throughout the library for fellow readers to enjoy.

I started by purchasing some bookmarks from a seller on Etsy. I told the seller it was for a “pay it forward” type project, and she even sent me some extra bookmarks for no charge because she liked the idea. Kudos to her for supporting my mission!

all gifts

I had a lot of note cards with positive messages laying around the house, so I used those and wrote a friendly message to the readers, and included a bookmark and a SAL business card. I decided to write my “hey you!” message on one edge of the envelope so I could tuck it onto a bookshelf at the library.

close up of front of card

inside of card

So I’ve had the materials ready for a few weeks, but I finally got around to actually placing them in the Carnegie Library in Oakland this afternoon, around 1pm. It was actually pretty busy, so I wandered around multiple floors looking for a few rows that had nobody in them.

joan of ark book

oliver twist book

I think my favorite placement was by the teen fiction book Ghostgirl. I don’t know anything about the book, but I thought it was appropriate given that I was trying to sneak around the library unnoticed!

ghost girl book far

ghost girl book close up

This was a really fun thing to do. I put four bookmarks/cards in the library today, and I have enough bookmarks and note cards to carry out similar missions a few more times. I’m planning on hitting Pitt’s Hillman Library and CMU’s Hunt Library to spread some good cheer there as well.

Affiliated Agent J, this is a great mission!  The book lover in me totally approves.  Thank you for your kindness!

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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