I don’t actually work at a public library, but I recently had the opportunity to read a book by a librarian named Gina Sheridan, which was called I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks.
I Work at a Public Library is a collection of unusual library encounters with patrons of all ages. Some of the situations Sheridan discusses are funny, some are super sweet, and others make you wish it was socially acceptable to smack people upside the head to correct their behavior.
I chose to read this book mostly because of the title, and found that I enjoyed many of the stories that the author chose to share. The book is somewhat similar to the book Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores, which I read and reviewed toward the end of last year, mostly because some of the stories Sheridan relates are common to both library and bookstore settings.
What really sets this book apart from Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores is the fact that libraries offer a variety of services in addition to loaning books. While there are plenty of stories about library patrons who don’t seem to know exactly what book they are looking for, there are many encounters involving people who really don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to technology (including computers, email, and copy machines). There is also an entire section devoted to one especially unique library patron, who is referred to as “Cuckoo Carol.” Based on the stories shared, Carol certainly earned her own section of the book.
I Work at a Public Library is a fun, quick read that had me laughing out loud several times. If you are a librarian, frequently visit the library as a patron, or have any experience working in customer service, you will likely enjoy this title.