I Work At A Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks

Gina Sheridan
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.


Reviewed: 2016-06-24
So... I bought this on the cheap at a store that I frequent that often has remainders at like 80% off of the cover price. I'm glad that I did, because I feel that at $2.99, it was still a little overpriced for the content. At $13.99, that's just insanity.

This is a book easily read in a single sitting, and if I hadn't started it around midnight last night after finally finishing and reviewing Black House, it wouldn't have been stretched out to two. I am kind of glad that I took that break from it, even if I did nothing better with my in-between time than to have bizarre dreams about Stephen King's books causing me to get my teeth tattooed. (Yeah, I'm not making that up. Apparently it seemed like a good idea at the time?)

Anyway, I'm glad that I took a break from it, because if I'd pushed through and finished in a single sitting, this would likely be a 1 star review rather than a 2 star.

I bought this expecting "strange and bizarre" stories, and what I got is a bunch of stories about people who don't know how stuff works. Like technology. Or society. Or phones. Or human interaction. Or libraries. That's not strange or bizarre. That's every day. I actually embody 2 and 1/2 of those myself.

The thing is... It's fun to make fun of assholes, and the "Bullies" chapter takes this on. Though really, those people are not "bullies" because "[b]ullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power, which distinguishes bullying from conflict." (According to Wikipedia) The people in this section were just confused about their importance, and a bit demanding. But they are not "bullies", and the librarian is not their "victim" because they have no power over the librarian or the library to force their will. They can be shrugged off and ignored. Nicely helped along their way. (Sorry, it just aggravates me how the term "bully" is used as a blanket term to mean anyone who isn't nice. That doesn't make someone a bully.)

ANYWAY... Making fun of rude assholes can be funny... But people who are confused and looking for help, and going to the resource who is literally there for the purpose of helping them, even if their question is crazy and weird, to me isn't really all that funny. "How do I scan my face for a dating website?" may be worth a chuckle in the moment, but I kept thinking about the people behind these requests. Maybe he's lonely and confused and trying to interact in the way that radio ads tell him is the best way to find his soul mate? I know my empathy is showing (I'm sorry, I'll tuck it away in one second!) but nothing in this book struck me as funny except for the chapter on children. Those were funny and cute.

In fact, the kids chapter and the heartwarming chapter actually saved this book from a 1 star review. Those two were the only ones that I enjoyed. Everything else just seemed kinda lame and tactless. *sigh*
Reviewed: 2015-08-24

This book was pretty hilarious. If you would like some examples of what it is like to be working at the library this would be a pretty good book to read. There are some very strange questions but all questions deserve answers and I feel all patrons were treated with respect. This book has some great content and reminds me why I love my job!

Want more? You can find the blog here!:http://iworkatapubliclibrary.com/

You can order the book and pick it up at the Colona Public Library! ~Ashley

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