Awhile ago a friend of mine sent me a link to a feature called Dispatches from a Public Librarian, written by Scott Douglas for McSweeney’s. He describes his work in short entries where he mentions strange things found in the library, interesting patrons (no identifying details of course) and confessions about the job. Included in the dispatches such items as:
“When I tell patrons to lower their voice in the library, I like to say it in a loud voice,” and “The strangest item found in the book drop was the head of a blond plastic doll wrapped in pink tissue paper.” If you don’t know where to start reading, and simply starting at number 1 doesn’t appeal to you, dispatch number 19 is especially written for those of us in graduate school trying to become librarians.
Douglas’ stories will probably be especially meaningful for those of you who work or volunteer in a public library but will entertain most anyone with an interest in library work. Douglas has now turned his posts into a book (pictured above) called Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian. According to his website, he is also working on a possible television show (librarians might wonder why no one has thought to make a TV show about them before).