Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review: 'I Work at a Public Library' by Gina Sheridan

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the StacksI Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks by Gina Sheridan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although I've never worked in a library, I find them to be fascinating and wonderful places. One of the most wonderful things about the library is that it makes so many resources available to a wide cross-section of the community...almost anyone, in fact. The public library is very democratic. The rich variety among library patrons gives rise to this book, which started as a Tumblr blog, of strange, unusual, humorous, and amusing incidents in the life of public library assistants and librarians.

This book is laugh-out-loud funny, but it also gives the reader a new appreciation for all the things librarians and their assistants actually do.

My favorite is the incident relayed on pages 145-146. A man who did not speak English as a primary language needed help accessing a website, fearing he might lose his job if he couldn't complete some online paperwork, but the website was malfunctioning. The library assistant TRACKED DOWN THE PHONE NUMBER OF THE WEB MASTER AND GOT HIM TO REWRITE THE CODE OF THE WEBSITE TO MAKE IT WORK PROPERLY. Wow - that's dedication. The man did not lose his job, and he showed up at the library WITH HIS ENTIRE FAMILY to thank her.

Cheers, workers of the public libraries of the world. You put information in the hands of the people who can be cranky, belligerent, drunk, users of unknown substances, distracted, or simply ignorant of a particular facet of life. You endure much with stoic poker faces and gentle good humor.

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Appropriately enough, I checked out this book at a public library. I was under no obligation to write a review. This review represents my own honest opinion.

1 comment:

Shoshanah said...

I think this book sounds like such an interesting idea. It's funny because growing up I used to love going to the library, but I really can't remember the last time I stepped inside one. Definitely a book that I'd love to read someday.