A New Brunswick library is showcasing a collection of paintings by a mysterious artist.

In 2006, staff at the Fredericton Public Library discovered some hidden treasures while performing some regular shelf cleaning.

“We get all sorts of things falling out all the time from bookmarks, to Kleenex to whatever,” says librarian Jessica Larocque.

This time, what the librarians discovered was small pieces of art.

“Someone opened a book and a little paining fell out of it. We really didn't think much of it at the time,” says Larocque.

However, as the cleaning continued, more paintings fell out of books in the adult fiction section.

“We realized that this is someone, a mastermind artist, deciding to leave little treasures for a reader,” says librarian Loralie Boyle.

By the end of the day, the librarians ended up with 46 paintings and realized they had something special on their hands. However, they did not have room to showcase their findings. They tucked the art away, until now.

The works of art are now on display, at the public library's new gallery.

“Some are mixed media, some are acrylic, some are still life, some are portraits,” says Larocque. “We don't even know how many there were because people may have taken it home and had a little surprise painting themselves.”

None of the pieces tucked into the books were titled, so library patrons are being asked to submit their own suggestions.

The art is even inspiring younger library users to make their own paintings.

“Books have always been great at sharing messages between the writer and the reader, but now artwork is doing that,” says Boyle.

The librarians still don’t know who the mysterious painter is. They say, perhaps, it is a secret best left between the pages.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore