I Work at a Public Library [book review]

Working in a library sounds like a pretty chill job, right?  It’s quiet, you make some small talk about the books people are checking out and you get to sit in a chair when you’re not shelving books.

That couldn’t be more wrong.


The author of this book, Gina Sheridan, has been a librarian for many years and has experienced anything but peace and quiet in her career.  In fact, some of the things that happened in the libraries she’s worked at are so bizarre that she had to start writing these happenings down.

The book is sorted by topic – computers, telephones, found items, etc. – with tales from each category that will have you laughing and saying, “Did that seriously happen?”  Some of the stories are actually a little gross and borderline disturbing, but hey, that’s our society today I suppose.  If you think about it, it’s not the situations that are surprising… it’s the fact that these happened in a library.

It’s a very quick read; if certain events hadn’t been going on as I was reading this I could’ve easily finished it in one sitting (maybe two, just to take a break in between).  Though some people may feel as though it’s a waste of a read, but I think anyone who works in a library will find this book very relatable.  I know I did.  In fact, I might have to start keeping track of what goes on in my own library!  Then I’ll have my own stories to tell someday.

So I would definitely recommend this book to any fellow library employees – you’ll be shaking your head and agreeing with half of the stuff that goes on.  I’d also recommend it to anyone who uses a library as a warning… don’t be like some of the people in this book.  Or do be like them – quite a few were entertaining.

I especially enjoyed this snippet from page 64:

Calling, Name (Redux)

ME: You have an overdue item.

PATRON: What is it?

ME: Charlotte’s Web.

PATRON: [Turning to seven-year-old daughter.] You turd.

I honestly laughed out loud at that one, and so did two of my coworkers.

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3 thoughts on “I Work at a Public Library [book review]

  1. ghostmmnc says:

    This sounds like an interesting book. I like these type, and have read several along the same lines. One of my favorites is called, I think, “Is This the Library Speaking?” by Ken Hornsby. It is true and funny too. :) I’ll have to find the one you’ve suggested.

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