Quiet, Please: Dispatches From A Public Librarian PDF/EPUB


Quiet, Please: Dispatches From A Public Librarian ➵ [Read] ➱ Quiet, Please: Dispatches From A Public Librarian By Scott Douglas ➿ – Thomashillier.co.uk For most of us, librarians are the quiet people behind the desk, who, apart from the occasional shush, vanish into the background But in Quiet, Please, McSweeney s contributor Scott Douglas puts the q For most of us, Dispatches From MOBI ô librarians are the quiet people behind the desk, who, apart from the occasional shush, vanish into the background But in Quiet, Please, McSweeney s contributor Scott Douglas puts the quirky caretakers of our literature front and center With a keen eye for the absurd and a Kesey esque cast of characters witness the librarian who is sure Thomas Pynchon is Julia Roberts s latest flame , Douglas takes us where Quiet, Please: PDF or few readers have gone before Punctuated by his own highly subjective research into library history from Andrew Carnegie s Gilded Age to today s Afghanistan Douglas gives us a surprising and sometimes hilarious look at the lives which make up the social institution that is his library.


10 thoughts on “Quiet, Please: Dispatches From A Public Librarian

  1. Sarah Sarah says:

    Disappointing.I had high expectations of this book I hoped the author s observations about public librarianship and library school would be amusing or insightful They were neither Some advice to Mr Douglas Smelt is not the past tense of the verb smell, and desert is not what comes at the end of a meal Footnotes are a bold choice, and should be used only by those with the skill to pull it off For good examples, please see Jonathan Strange Mr Norrell or the front matter to A Heartbr Disappointing.I had high expectations of this book I hoped the author s observations about public librarianship and library school would be amusing or insightful They were neither Some advice to Mr Douglas Smelt is not the past tense of the verb smell, and desert is not what comes at the end of a meal Footnotes are a bold choice, and should be used only by those with the skill to pull it off For good examples, please see Jonathan Strange Mr Norrell or the front matter to A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius For bad examples, see your book Please refrain from using the phrase in fact in the future I believe you have used up your lifetime allotment If you re going to be an jerk, just be a jerk Don t end a bigoted rant about insert patron group here with some Doogie Howser ish nonsense about how much you learned from them Don t annoy the catalogers We can bury your book so deep in the OPAC that no patron will ever find it


  2. Trin Trin says:

    Supposedly a memoir about Douglas work as a public librarian, this book is actually about how Douglas is smart and sane, while everyone else who works at or comes into the library is crazy and dumb My god rarely have I read a memoir where the author comes off asof a pretentious ass If Douglas were funny it might work, but instead he s just mean And not even honestly mean he keeps trying to turn his mocking into little lessons about the importance of community, or covering a chapter Supposedly a memoir about Douglas work as a public librarian, this book is actually about how Douglas is smart and sane, while everyone else who works at or comes into the library is crazy and dumb My god rarely have I read a memoir where the author comes off asof a pretentious ass If Douglas were funny it might work, but instead he s just mean And not even honestly mean he keeps trying to turn his mocking into little lessons about the importance of community, or covering a chapter of spiteful observations about a coworker with I didn t hate Brenda, but Oh you big liar You totally hate her I know that you hate her, because after saying I didn t hate Brenda, but a whole bunch of times at the beginning of the narrative, toward the end you slip and reveal, I hated Brenda In the words of Marshall Eriksen, LAWYERED Douglas says there are two types of humor, David Sedaris humor and Dave Barry humor the latter, obviously, being the unsophisticated, plebian type that s only funny to people who aren t Scott Douglas Actually, there s a third kind humor that totally doesn t work Librarians everywhere can feel free to shelve this book in that section


  3. Rita Meade Rita Meade says:

    Let me preface this by saying that in no way do I consider myself to be a perfect librarian On a bad day, you might hear me complain about a difficult patron or a frustrating encounter with a co worker I can be impatient and annoyed and upset More often than not, however, you will hear me sing the praises of my job and the endearingly wacky people I encounter on a daily basis Honestly, if I ever appear as mean spirited or bitter as Douglas does in this book, feel free to revoke my MLS degree Let me preface this by saying that in no way do I consider myself to be a perfect librarian On a bad day, you might hear me complain about a difficult patron or a frustrating encounter with a co worker I can be impatient and annoyed and upset More often than not, however, you will hear me sing the praises of my job and the endearingly wacky people I encounter on a daily basis Honestly, if I ever appear as mean spirited or bitter as Douglas does in this book, feel free to revoke my MLS degree I suspect that he thought that fellow librarians would, while reading, chuckle along with the stories and nod their heads in a knowing manner In reality, I am completely disinterested in being categorized with this man as a librarian It s one thing to good naturedly vent from time to time or even bad naturedly vent It happens It s quite another thing to humiliate and mock people in print the people who essentially sustain your livelihood and give you a purpose in the first place This book made me uncomfortable, confused, and even angry at times the chapter on mentally handicapped patrons was purely offensive I am not sure what readers are supposed to take away from this unfunny, poorly written mishmash, other than the fact that it s obvious that the author should not be working with the public If Douglas was going for satire or irony, he completely missed the mark It s my sincere hope that readers do not think that Douglas represents all public librarians Some of us, as crazy as it sounds, actually enjoy our jobs and ultimately respect the people with whom we work and the public we serve Douglas needs to remember why he became a librarian in the first place and if he can t, maybe he should reassess his career choice and leave the reference work for those of us who still care P.S What s with all the incessant, annoying, and unnecessary footnotes Give it a rest, man


  4. Suzanne Suzanne says:

    I loved this book Why Because A I thought library school was the biggest waste of my time and money and will tell it to anyone who will listen2 I think librarians by and large are the most socially defunct group of people I may be included in that III Although I love the patrons, I have repeatedly said This job would be great if it wasn t for the patrons This book reminded me of the many patrons who left me shaking my head in both wonder and disgust Two favorites include The man w I loved this book Why Because A I thought library school was the biggest waste of my time and money and will tell it to anyone who will listen2 I think librarians by and large are the most socially defunct group of people I may be included in that III Although I love the patrons, I have repeatedly said This job would be great if it wasn t for the patrons This book reminded me of the many patrons who left me shaking my head in both wonder and disgust Two favorites include The man who handed me a picture of a couch and said I need to email this to my daughter He did not want me to scan it we didn t have a scanner nor had he ever heard of one he wanted me to somehow with magic, I assume get that picture onto one of his 30 flash drives that itself is a long story and attach it to an email He demonstrated this want by banging the picture and the flashdrives together and saying But can t you just like get it on here The man who approached the children s circulation desk and announced I am looking for something educational for my kids I initially thought of applauding because, well, he had found the right place Instead I lamely replied You mean like books like to read Yes, I have one of them there MLIS degrees and yes, it is the dumbest patrons that make you, the librarian, appear to be the mentally deficient one He was, in fact, looking for books, like to read.And, of course, there are the library employees who are worse than worst patrons There are the bun heads, the racists, and the bitter ol hens who make what seems like the most boring job in the world riddled withdrama than LC and Heidi at the same club opening see librarians are hip I so know what The Hills is all about.Most of all, this book really made me miss my favorite coworkers at HWML favorite being the ones who didn t hate me.Disclaimer added many days later Not ALL librarians are either bun heads, racists, or bitter ol hens The clerks are too No, but seriously, there are many, many wonderful librarians out there but it s the crazies that make for good story And yes library school was a waste of time Theory does not equate practice, and as Douglas pointed out in his book, there should beinternships and practicums instead of lecture, lecture, lecture Either you re good at what you do or you aren t Logging endless classroom hours isn t going to change that Out of my 36 MLIS credits, 12 of them were useful and applicable to actual librarian work


  5. Jody McGrath Jody McGrath says:

    Lol funny This is the story of a man who becomes a librarian because he doesn t know what else to do He questions his job choice, but he is really a people watcher, and the library attracts all kinds I highly recommend this book


  6. Carly Carly says:

    A narcissist tells stories about working in the public library not a good match between job and personality If only there were a 0 stars rating.If you want to read a book about working the public library, try Free For All Oddballs, Geeks Gangstas in the Public Library by Borchert Borchert is funny and also has an ounce of compassion for his fellow man A narcissist tells stories about working in the public library not a good match between job and personality If only there were a 0 stars rating.If you want to read a book about working the public library, try Free For All Oddballs, Geeks Gangstas in the Public Library by Borchert Borchert is funny and also has an ounce of compassion for his fellow man


  7. Greg Greg says:

    A review where I find I m writingabout myself than the book at hand, only because the farther along I read in the book theI saw myself in the book which might not be the best way of reading a memoir.When I first came across this book I thought oh cool a book about being a librarian , then I thought it will be nice in the biography section with the other book that came out a few months ago about being a librarian, and I ll mean to read it and probably not, or at least until it c A review where I find I m writingabout myself than the book at hand, only because the farther along I read in the book theI saw myself in the book which might not be the best way of reading a memoir.When I first came across this book I thought oh cool a book about being a librarian , then I thought it will be nice in the biography section with the other book that came out a few months ago about being a librarian, and I ll mean to read it and probably not, or at least until it comes out in paperback, and then maybe still forget about it Then though I happened to open the book up to an early page and noticed first footnotes and not that I would phrase it as a man crush like the author does, I will admit being a complete sucker for David Foster Wallace and Thomas Pynchon, but not Mark Twain who I avoid like the plague because of a horrible first experience with him at the hands of an incompetent English teacher , which I m back on footnotes here are an instant selling point to me and on the same page the story about trying to impress a librarian by reading Thomas Pynchon, only to find out the librarian thinks Pynchon is maybe some actor in a Julia Roberts movie That s all I needed to see, the book went right on top of my to buy pile of books and actually made it out of the to buy pile in the first week it was there no little feat let me tell you, books can live in that pile for quite awhile.Parts of the book were a little disheartening, since I m currently enrolled in Library School, and hearing some of the bad things about being a librarian, and the way he questioned his decision to become one and stuff, but as the book went on I found myself seeing that it s not so bad, and that a lot of the humorous horror stories he s relating could be lifted out of my own experiences working at the bookstore, with maybe a few little details changed for example, he has a patron come up and tell him there is a man sleeping in a restroom stall, I had a woman come up to me and tell me there was a woman scratching her skin off in the ladies room, or perverts jerking off on the computers compared to some guy blowing his wad on a woman s leather jacket while she was wearing it in the Woman s Study aisle Besides taking an amused solace in similar kinds of experience I also loved reading his short tales of going to Library School I was also happy to find out that there is some kind of web page out there for Librarians with Tattoos, it s nice to know that in the future I could belong to something bigger than myself I found the book to be overall really enjoyable, I d recommend it to people, especially people who don t work in places where the homeless and crazy come to spend their days just for the wonderfully bizarre tales they bring with them Good stuff


  8. Penny Penny says:

    Homophobic, fat hating, unlikeable, but he had some interesting points about libraries Too bad he was a giant dick.


  9. Grace Grace says:

    Scott Douglas is brilliant And he is, at the same time, just a regular guy As a 5 year library employee who would like to eventually get her Masters, but has to wait for financial reasons for a few years, I could relate to so many of his stories, both of crazy patrons, and intra office drama gossip His unique perspective of having worked at both a smaller and larger library ensures that librarians of all sorts will be able to relate to something in his book For me, it was his old fir Scott Douglas is brilliant And he is, at the same time, just a regular guy As a 5 year library employee who would like to eventually get her Masters, but has to wait for financial reasons for a few years, I could relate to so many of his stories, both of crazy patrons, and intra office drama gossip His unique perspective of having worked at both a smaller and larger library ensures that librarians of all sorts will be able to relate to something in his book For me, it was his old first work buildingthe one with mold on the ceilings and a regular list of eclectic patrons coming in the door But this book really succeeds in that it is not just a cynical tell all of all the insane things library employees have to put up with my personal list, by the way, includes maggots in the binding of a book, being asked by a patron if he could body paint me, a patron who once printed out 100 sheets of paper with the simple internet query how you put in PC at home at the top of a search engine page, and so the list goes on Scott s book is also,importantly, the narration of an epic quest The quest is one to find one s place in the working world, and to find satisfaction in one s job Throughout the book, he questions whether library work is something he really WANTS to do, or something he merely has ended up doing In the end, he finds a peace and resolution with his role as a librarian that seems to satisfy both him, and the reader some of which have askedor are currently askingthemselves the same question Two stories in this book especially moved me The first was about a young handicapped patron and a Christmas gift, and the second was Scott s description of the closing of his old library Throughout the book, he drives home the fact that as library employees, we are public servants, but for some reason, his description of standing alone in an empty building that had so many memories, and how when the patrons were gone, it was no longer a library at allthat was the story that drove home the fact to me the most.High recommended to all of my fellow library employees on Good Reads Stick your name on hold for ityou won t regret it


  10. Neil Neil says:

    Is this what working in a library is like Well yes and no Every library is different and from what I ve seen in my time in the profession, every library worker s experience of the library is different Mr Douglas, whether through his own mentality or through exaggerations meant to obtain what he thought would be a funny book, seems to see librarianship as long stretches of boredom punctuated by encounters with crazy patrons and co workers It s one legitimate experience of the library, one th Is this what working in a library is like Well yes and no Every library is different and from what I ve seen in my time in the profession, every library worker s experience of the library is different Mr Douglas, whether through his own mentality or through exaggerations meant to obtain what he thought would be a funny book, seems to see librarianship as long stretches of boredom punctuated by encounters with crazy patrons and co workers It s one legitimate experience of the library, one that is true to life for many who work in libraries There are many difficult encounters with wacky, annoying, or simply sad people in the library Everyone who works there has bad days and I ve seen many get bogged down permanently in their obsession with that part of the job.But for others, library work remains continually engaging Whether it s pride in creating a great local institution, the pleasure of providing good service, or an ongoing love of getting to work with books and other collections every day and introduce these materials to others, many who work in libraries find the job continually sustaining If Douglas was funnier, or a better writer, this could still be a good book, but there are glaring problems His use of footnotes for material that should be written into the text is annoying in the extreme, the equivalent of a drummer s rimshot to try to milk a laugh out of comic material that isn t particularly funny Two of the writer s personal traits annoy me too One is the tendency to slam co workers and patrons with cheap shots, then try to leaven the cruelty by proclaiming I really liked them I suspect this appreciation for the foibles of the people he met in the library is in some cases genuine, but his writing rarely shows the upsides that he appreciated, just his displeasure at what he didn t like about them What makes me really crazy is Douglas s own laziness, and how he never realizes how this creates most of his negative experiences He admits that he spends most of his time off desk doing nothing and acts as if this is normal for the profession As a hardworking librarian, that makes me angry I don t want the job I love degraded by someone who practices it badly As in almost any profession, one can find ways to coast, but there is no end of work to be done in a library Those who can t find any of it ought to be fired Even at the desk, which Douglas claims is his favorite part of the job, he seems prone to vaguely pointing in a direction or mumbling a Dewey number when asked a question That s crummy service and I hope it isn t really typical of his work.There s also no arc to this story Douglas is unhappy with his job but doesn t really want to leave it It seems like he is working toward some epiphany about his job, but instead, he finds a girlfriend and that makes him happy It doesn t have much to do with everything that bothers him about his job or his life, it just provides him with a distraction I couldn t help but think that his career, his relationship, or both are in trouble when this new distraction becomes less new.Finally, I m bothered by the author s absolute dismissal of library school My library school experience was good, but like any other educational opportunity, you get out of it what you put into it There were classes that didn t apply much to what I do now, but others were excellent Most were somewhere in the middle, and I worked to make them relevant by thinking about the theory and figuring out how I would apply it in practice Douglas should have tried the same I have co workers who have the same gripes as Douglas about the MLS degree, but I can t help but notice that they are generally less effective as librarians as those who havemixed reviews of their schooling I don t think it s a coincidence Douglas ought to be a littlethankful that people are working to provide advanced education and set professional standards so he can make a living in the career he has chosen Instead, this book is a wonderful argument for why shoddy librarians could be replaced by untrained part time workers.This isn t completely unreadable There are flickers of insight and compassion I suspect Douglas is a better librarian than this book indicates, that he is trying to portray himself self deprecatingly to achieve laughs But it just doesn t quite work and he comes offas lazy and thoughtless It also demonstrates the problems with trying to turn a blog into a book What narrative structure there is here seems like it was imposed as an afterthought.In the end though, I hope this book is not taken as the only version of librarianship by those who don t work in libraries I hope it isn t taken as an excuse by lousy librarians to do their job evenpoorly If you thought this book was great and you work in a library or are thinking about working in a library, please consider another career


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *