Look Review (4): I Work at a Public Library



Goodreads synopsis:

Straight from the library–the strange and bizarre, ready to be checked out!
From a patron’s missing wetsuit to the scent of crab cakes wafting through the stacks, I Work at a Public Library showcases the oddities that have come across Gina Sheridan’s circulation desk. Throughout these pages, she catalogs her encounters with local eccentrics as well as the questions that plague her, such as, “What is the standard length of eyebrow hairs?” Whether she’s helping someone scan his face onto an online dating site or explaining why the library doesn’t have any dragon autobiographies, Sheridan’s bizarre tales prove that she’s truly seen it all.
Stacked high with hundreds of strange-but-true stories, I Work at a Public Library celebrates librarians and the unforgettable patrons that roam the stacks every day.

Next week is National Library Week, with Tuesday, April 12 being National Library Worker’s Day. What better time to review this book?

 First, I love the formatting of the book. The chapter titles are Dewey Decimal numbers and their corresponding subjects, i. e. Chapter 4 031.02 Curiosities and Wonders. Each anecdote is then filed as if under an author’s name, such as Experience, Firsthand. It’s a fun, clever way to keep with the theme.

 I think this book will appeal most to current and former library workers and avid library patrons, but there is plenty of humor anyone, especially bibliophiles.

 Everything, Ruining

A disgruntled woman approached the desk.

Woman: I cannot believe the nerve of some people, dog-earing the pages of the books! Do they think they own the books? I think you should give a bookmark to every single person who checks out a book. I mean it. They are ruining everything! I will help make the bookmarks if that’s what it takes.

 This story cracked me up because, A) I detest people who dog-ear books (especially library books), and B) my local libraries have free bookmarks at the checkout desks (some are program advertisements, others are DIY from old calendars).

Now for the look(s):

Up, Dressed

As I was walking by the computer area around closing time, one of our more complicated regulars stopped to “compliment” me.

Woman: [with perturbed tone] Well! You look nice. It must be dress-up night at the library. You’re in a prom dress and here I am in my ratty old T-shirt, thanks a lot! I’m only kidding. But you do look nice. You’re complexion is much better these days, too. You must be drinking enough water. Well, goodbye.

Me: Thanks very much, bye. [Looks in befuddlement at “prom dress,” a cardigan over a black dress.]

Librarian look: Faux LBD (lace tank + circle skirt) with a houndstooth cardigan – when I worked as a library associate, way back when, we had to dress this way (although I usually wore slacks or long skirts because I was shelving). Nowadays, the librarians’ dress code is more casual.

Patron look: “Ratty” tee with plaid button down, jeans, and sneakers – this is exactly how I dress when I go to the library!


4 thoughts on “Look Review (4): I Work at a Public Library

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