In the spring of last year, a mysterious presence began a peaceful invasion of libraries all over Edinburgh, Scotland. The first hint of the Library Phantom was found by Julie Johnstone, a librarian at the Scottish Poetry Library. A little tree, made of twisted strips of paper, was perched on a book in the reading room. A gold–leafed eggshell next to the sculpture, was filled with more strips of paper. When reassembled, the strips formed the poem, "A Trace of Wings" by Edwin Morgan
A note left by the Phantom, addressed to the library's Twitter handle, read, "This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas..."
Museums, cinemas, bookstores also received visits from the mysterious patron, who left behind similar notes of thanks each time.
The work of local crime writer Ian Rankin was targeted more than once by the Library Phantom, who seems to be a fan. The coffin is a visual play on words on the title of Mr. Rankin's book, Exit Music. In the next sculpture, Mr. Rankin's face appears in a tiny homage on an audience member's head.
As the Phantom gained attention from the press, The Edinburgh Evening News announced that it had solved the mystery, as the paper's former music librarian recognized the handiwork of the culprit. Did readers and bibliophiles want to know the identity of the phantom? The paper took a poll, and the overwheling response was: "We Don't Want to Know." Readers preferred to let the mystery remain unsolved.
Back at the Poetry Library, the mysterious sculptor left a note, revealing that now that they had completed ten pieces, they would go into retirement.