Two Minute Review: I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan

Thursday, July 3, 2014
Title: I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks
Author: Gina Sheridan
Genre: nonfiction
Series: none
Pages: 160
Published: Expected July 31, 2014
Source: publisher via edelweiss
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
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 by Danielle

I used to work at a public library in high school, so believe me when I say every story in this book rings true.

I Work at a Public Library recounts silly questions, baffling encounters, and even the touching stories of working with readers. It's often a frustrating endeavor, but as the last chapter shows, a worthwhile one. Of course, it doesn't generally feel that way when you're cleaning vomit covered sweatshirts out of the stacks.

The best part of Sheridan's book is the way she's organized the stories. I love the idea of using the Dewey Decimal system as the chapter headers. It was cute, made me think of libraries, and separated this book from several similar ones I've read. I also liked the chapter on one patron, Cuckoo Carol. It gave the book a personal connection that I was searching for.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of non-fiction books, (and even more blogs!) with stories from customer service jobs, and these don't really differ much from say the one about the bookstore or the other one about libraries. It's a genre I like, don't get me wrong, but in a few weeks I don't think I'll be able to tell you in which book I read the wetsuit story and which one asked if there was a copy of Tequila Mockingbird available.

I Work at a Public Library is a very short, (I read it in about 90 minutes,) but very funny book that's relatable to anyone who's worked with the public. If you've ever heard "my tax dollars!" in an unironic way, and you've gained enough space from the experience that it's funny now, you're probably going to have a great afternoon with Sheridan's patrons.

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