Non-Fiction Friday: I Work at a Public Library… by Gina Sheridan

I have had a serious dry spell in good non-fiction! I read and read but haven’t loved anything enough to recommend it. Then, I picked up I Work at a Public Library, A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks, by Gina Sheridan. I initially chose the slim book because I needed one that could be read in a day for one of my reading challenges. Then I enjoyed it so much I wished it was longer! Imagine my joy when I discovered that it began as a blog and she continues to add entries. You can find the blog here.

iworkI was also interested in reading the stories because my first, third, fourth and fifth jobs were all at libraries. I worked as a page (that person who re-shelves your books), a reference assistant and later a legal reference librarian (worst.job.ever – no books!). I loved being a page because I spent my days looking at the books and seeing what people loved checking out and returning. And, in case you haven’t visited one lately, the public library is amazing people watching. Amazing. There are very few things in life I enjoy more than people watching.

Gina Sheridan embraced the people watching without making me feel like she was mocking the patrons of the library. From innocent questions about internet porn to the crazy antics of the usual customers, it was clear that these people were important to the author. And, I was incredible impressed with her diplomatic answers to some truly rude and probing questions.

For a small taste: One entry on her blog from December 2017 reads,

“Today a patron brought in his own (large) TV and game console and set them up in a study room. He played for hours with no explanation or disruption.”

This is what I love about the public library. It’s public but for many people it is their home away from home. And they treat it just like it belongs to them – for better or worse.

I really enjoyed this funny quick read but the last chapter, the one that focuses on the patrons that return to thank their librarians, made me happy-cry. Librarians are heroes and Gina’s humurous book and blog embrace the beautiful and sometimes weird things our librarians do for all of us.

Tell me, please!

Do you love your public library? 


7 thoughts on “Non-Fiction Friday: I Work at a Public Library… by Gina Sheridan

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  1. Added to my tbr. I’ve always wante dto work in a library so I’m interested. Great review, by the way.

    And sadly, our public library sucks. Which isn’t surprising as reading isn’t that popular here in the Philippines. I’ve only gone once in the public library where I live and what a bad experience is that… I spent half an hour showing my IDs, yes plural because they won’t accept just one. Why? because I wasn’t wearing decent clothes. Although I was actually wearing a knee-length shorts, a tee and rubber shoes. What’s not decent with my outfit, I couldn’t understand. They almost didn’t let me and my cousin in. AND, the books inside. Jesus. I could count the nonfiction there. And all of them were old books. They dont seem to have the newly published novels. My God, I hate to say this but my Shelves at home are so much better.

    Im sorry I ended up ranting. This is the first time I ranted about it as I didn’t want to ruin my town’s reputation but i can’t help it. 😦 😦 😦 If our library is okay, I’ll be a patron there, for sure. 🙂 🙂


    1. Oh my gosh – that sounds terrible!!! I appreciate my library every single day (actually, its library PATRON appreciation week and they were giving out cookies to the patrons). I know my library is fabulous because I have lived in cities that had terrible libraries but nothing like this!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love my public library. It was built on the site of a marvelous Carnegie library that was one of my most favorite childhood places.
    Most of our children worked there during high school.

    Liked by 1 person

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