Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Free For All: Oddballs, Geeks, And Gangsters In The Public Library by Don Borchert

Free For All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangsters In The Public Library by Don Borchert, 223 pages

I loved this book!  Maybe, I liked this book so much because working in a public library, I see so much of what he wrote about go on in our library.  I actually found myself laughing out loud.  Of course, our library's mishaps barely rival Don's, who works for the Los Angeles Public Library.  Of course, he writes about the usual things librarian's run across: fines, people having multiple cards, and the unruly kids. Some of the more shocking stories he shares are how he found a sex toy in the outside book drop and how the bathroom was being used as a drug dealers warehouse.  I especially loved the part where one year for the summer reading program they offered a trip to Houston and how one little girl kept checking out books and saying she read them all.  There was nothing they could do to stop her.  She had quite a few tickets in the drawing and of course she won.  The following year they went back to pencils and pens for prizes.  Or, the part where they use to serve wine with staff lunches in the library.  My favorite chapter is MMM, where the staff labels the patrons in their record as MMM.  I wondered what does that stand for?  At the end of the chapter, we find out it means patrons who Make Me Mad.  But, my all time favorite is how they charge $5.00 for a new library card!

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