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Free for all : oddballs, geeks, and gangstas in the public library (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Don Borchert

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8305710,896 (3.5)44
Member:vancouverdeb
Title:Free for all : oddballs, geeks, and gangstas in the public library
Authors:Don Borchert
Info:New York : Virgin Books : Distributed by Holtzbrinck Publishers, c2007.
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:non-fiction, libraries, librarians, biography, humour, anecdotes

Work details

Free For All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library by Don Borchert (2007)

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    Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg (meggyweg)
  2. 10
    Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian by Scott Douglas (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: If you really want to know what a librarian's life is like in an urban public library, warts and all, these two candid accounts should keep you both informed and entertained; Quiet, Please also shares a brief history of libraries.
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    Dewey, the library cat by Vicki Myron (vvstokkom)
    vvstokkom: For cat AND library-lovers
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» See also 44 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
I preferred this over a similiar read ("Quiet, Please"). It's less snarky than the latter. Very familiar, right down to the bureaucratic issues and latchkey kids. Funny how these two books both express feelings of love, hate and indifference in the library work setting. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
This was a quick, cute read. A librarian tells stories about cowowrkers and patrons he has encountered throughout his career as a librarian. Not as boring as it sounds. Stories are funny, some inspiring. ( )
  micahmom2002 | Jan 25, 2016 |
This was a quick, cute read. A librarian tells stories about cowowrkers and patrons he has encountered throughout his career as a librarian. Not as boring as it sounds. Stories are funny, some inspiring. ( )
  micahmom2002 | Jan 25, 2016 |
A memoir about being a librarian and the type of people that come in the library. I was hoping this would be a laugh out loud book, but it wasn't. I thought it interesting and at times funny, but I didn't laugh out loud. ( )
  i.should.b.reading | Jan 15, 2016 |
I couldn't resist picking this up and reading it despite all the other TBR mountain books on top of it. And then I couldn't put it down - I stayed awake in bed until I was done with it, and then couldn't sleep for thinking about and also wishing for more. Believe me, I tried to be objective, because I know that stories about assorted patrons and behind-the-scenes life of libraries isn't everyone's cup of tea. But I honestly don't know how anyone could be so disinterested in this to give it less than a 'liked it' rating. Gracefully & cleanly written. Concise stories on a (relatively) wide variety of library-related topics. Funny and poignant, sometimes by turns, sometimes simultaneously.

Oh, to rebut some of the other reviewers - he likes kids, so long as they try to be moderately respectful, and he tries to help them when he can. He likes learning about people of other cultures and basically admits that he knows he's lucky to have been born white even though he couldn't choose that. And he never pretended that this book would be anything like a 'how to fix the library.' ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
"The secondhandedness of the learned world is the secret of its mediocrity." - Alfred North Whitehead
Dedication
To friends and family.

To Sally and Andrea and Beth and Rosie, and to my dad.

To Bob and Donna Perkins.

To Ian Morgan, John Kalmbaugh, and Tom Ryan - oh my, what a bunch. Big, tough ones.

To Theresa and Curtis Babiar and Rhea Edelman, library stalwarts.

To Greg Bobulinski, jazz trumpet player extraordinaire, who reminds us that life is not merely endless commerce.

To Lynn Wolverton.
First words
Libraries are a footnote to our civilization, an outpost to those unfamiliar with the concept, and a cheap, habit-forming narcotic to the regular patron.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Don Borchert, assistant librarian at a suburban Los Angeles library for twelve years, provides an inside look at what really goes on in a modern library, including fist-fights between moms, drug-dealing in the restroom, and other odd, unsavory, and humorous activities.
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The author recounts his experiences working as an assistant librarian in a public library in suburban Los Angeles, as he encounters patrons who range from bored latchkey kids left there for the afternoon, to rowdy teenagers, to Internet-obsessed adults, to drug-dealers.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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