Friday, January 23, 2015

I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan

Reviewed by Meygan 

I will be honest with you all. I have loved the library ever since I was a child. That is why when I heard about a job opening at the Bristol Public Library, I was elated. However, I was a little apprehensive. I came from a car dealership where every minute was spent hustling and bustling over paperwork. Will there be enough to do? Will the minutes excruciatingly tick away? A week after working in a public library I decided that there will never be a boring day here. From the laugh-out-loud questions to the moments that have touched my heart, some of my best interactions with people have come from the library. That is why when I saw a book entitled  I Work at a Public Library, I knew I had to read it. 

I Work at a Public Library is a collection of anecdotes from Sheridan and others about working in a public library. Sheridan offers stories ranging from a humorous tale of a man needing books on different countries when really what he wanted was a book on Hawaii to sentimental stories about an 83 year old man and his quest for Krispy Kreme donuts.  The inspiration for the book was Sheridan’s favorite quirky patron Carol whose nickname was “Cuckoo”. To give you an idea of Carol, I will share two of my favorite Carol stories. When Carol is asked to check to see if she still has a DVD out that needs to be turned in, she replies, “I’d rather do two hundred million things than listen to you.” Also, when Carol hears that Sheridan will no longer be working at that particular library, she tells Sheridan that certain people there will miss her. When Carol is asked if she will miss Sheridan, she replies, “Maybe so. But don’t let it go to your head.” That, ladies and gentleman, are just a few moments that a librarian may experience on a typical day to day basis.

Another of my favorites was the patron who asked the librarian to please make a phone call for her and when she called, she reached Sexy Connections, where a person “can meet their soulmate or just have a good time!” To make matters even worse, the volume on the phone was so high that the whole library heard who the librarian had called. Another favorite was when a patron approached the librarian with a photo she had taken of a man’s “back side”. When the librarian asked if the man had mooned her, the woman replied, “No, he just had plumber’s crack. Big time, wouldn’t you say? Anyway, I didn’t want to have to be the one to tell him. I’m erasing this picture right now. You see me erasing it, right? I’m not a pervert!” While I have yet to be mooned or asked to call an adult hook up line, I already know to not say, “That will NEVER happen to me!” 

I joked with my co-worker that we should keep a list of everything funny and unusual that happens to us and post to a blog.  She said, “We don’t need to as it’s already been done!”  Sherridan’s blog is but there are several others including

Even if you do not work in a public library, I encourage you to read this book if you like reading short, funny conversations.  And if you do work in a public library then you may feel the joys and pain of Sheridan’s I Work at a Public Library!  If you are a library worker, past or present, why don’t you leave us a favorite story in the comments section?

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