cricketmuse

a writer's journey as a reader

Not Quite Titles


Though my current vocation is English teacher, I am really a librarian at heart. My principal knows this and understands I am awaiting the day the district figures out the funding to put a certified librarian back into the school library (“pick me, pick me”). I also have visions of retiring from teaching and hiding out in the local community college library working on mends and discards, like I did in my yesteryear life. Until those designated times happen, I live vicariously through other librarians’ lives. Knowing that background–how could I resist this title when I saw it propped up on the “last chance” rack at my local library?

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Racks

Gina Sheridan, does indeed work at a public library, and her library must be crazier than the ones I have worked in. She even has a blog dedicated to daily oddities that happen there. If you think libraries are calm, quiet, and bland places to work in, you really need to check out her postings.

I had fun reading her book, and could definitely relate to some of the odd conversations she had either overheard and participated in. One of my favorite sections was her Chapter 3: 028.9 Reading Interests and Habits where she shared some of the “not quite titles” her patrons asked for. Ever hear of these?

  • Catcher in the Wind
  • Gullible’s Travels
  • Fifty Shades of Grey’s Anatomy
  • How to Kill a Mockingbird
  • The Diary of Aunt Frank
  • The Hungry Games

Do you have any interesting tales from the library? Can you top my story of the fifty dollar bill left in a book as a bookmark? Or the guy who checked out an armload of expensive art books who tried to sell them at one of the bookstores down the street ten minutes later?

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13 thoughts on “Not Quite Titles

  1. I LOVE malaprops! Oh for Archie Bunkerisms every day! But you as a teacher know the humor in the names of students as well. I’ll bet you’ve got one or two tucked away. I do. 🙂

  2. I haven’t read this book, but I think I’ve heard about it. Is Sheridan the one who got fired after the book came out?

  3. Oh, I could tell you stories from San Francisco’s Main Public Library, but it’s my bedtime. I do think that the librarians who work there should get hazard pay.

    I could also tell you stories about working in a bookstore in San Francisco, but it’s my bedtime.

    This sounds like a great book. Will have to check it out more of her postings, but not tonight. It’s my bedtime. 😀

  4. How to Kill a Mockingbird, that makes me wonder exactly what these people want the book for…I wish I had funny library stories but ours is mainly computers these days and wide spaces with not very big tables in them, there is plenty of room for books but sadly nobody thinks them that important it seems.

    • For some reason my students refer to Lee’s book in the same manner. Perhaps they are realizing a deeper symbolism than the titles suggests. Fortunately our local library runs a healthy balance of books, movies, and computers. We are tight on space though.

  5. Oh, man! I can only imagine. Coming from a long, harrowing customer service/retail background, I understand any job working with the public brings on an arsenal of memorable stories.

    Aunt Frank…ah, jeez!

  6. We spotted some kids in our children’s programming room but didn’t think anything of it as they seemed to be busily working on a project. Turns out they were in there manufacturing fake IDs. It’s always something.

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