Monday, October 15, 2007

Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library

By Don Borchert

I received an advanced copy of this book at a library conference recently, and it will be released November 13, 2007. Even though it isn't on the library and bookstore shelves yet, I couldn't wait to review it. I consider this book to be library concentrate, an intense flavor of what its like "on the inside". As a librarian, this book greatly appeals to me; however, I know the general population would enjoy this book because it gives a sneak peak into the lives of librarians, and the incredible stories they have to share, which the general population is definitely unaware of. You'd be amazed!

Don Borchert tried many different professions before entering into the library domain, many of which are unrelated. This sets him apart from the typical librarian because many of us have known for a long time that we belonged in the company of books and people who love to read them. I know from experience.

Although he didn't get his calling until later in life, his experiences are much the same as the average librarian. The difference is, we are accustomed to the abnormal behavior of human beings, yet he was shocked by some the every day out-of-the-ordinary occurrences, whereas, many of us librarians would say, "it happens all the time." It inspired him to write this book detailing his life as a librarian, including working with books and people who love to read them,yet he also dealt with unusual and disgusting objects found in the book drop, racial wars in the parking lot, drug dealers using the library bathroom to hide their stash, people who check out hundreds of dollars of materials and magically disappear, and a specific reclusive, grumpy, retired patron who spends hours at the library doing crossword puzzles. A must read for librarians and patrons alike!


At 3:30 PM, Blogger Cari said...

I can't wait to read this! Thanks for posting your review :-)

At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also, check out "Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian" by Scott Douglas (Da Capo Books, April 2008)

At 11:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I’ve gone into several library blogs and they seem awfully dry. You will never convince someone to go to library school by reading these blogs."

-- Don Borchert


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