I was inspired by the new series of posts about the work that goes on behind the scenes in our library to gather some of the best books about working in a library and the history of libraries to share. If you want to know a little more about life behind the desk, and some history of our little corner of the world and beyond, you might want to take a look at these titles.
I Work at a Public Library: a Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks by Gina Sheridan
Collects strange-but-true anecdotes, heartwarming stories, and humorous interactions with patrons from a public librarian.
Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian by Scott Douglas
An autobiography set in a Southern California public library offers a quirky description of life as a caretaker of modern literature and furnishes an account of the history of libraries from the Gilded Age to the present day.
The World’s Strongest Librarian: a Memoir of Tourette’s, Faith, strength, and the Power of Family by Josh Hanagarne
Traces the public librarian author’s inspiring story as a Mormon youth with Tourette’s Syndrome who after a sequence of radical and ineffective treatments overcame nightmarish tics through education, military service and strength training.
This Book is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson
In a celebration of libraries and the dedicated people who staff them, the author argues that librarians are more important than ever, and discusses a new breed of visionary professionals who use the Web to link people and information.
Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese American Incarceration During World War II and a Librarian Who Made a Difference by Joanne Oppenheim
Provides the story of life in a Japanese internment camp during World War II through the correspondence of the children in the camp to their librarian, Miss Clara Breed, who worked on their behalf to show the injustice of their imprisonment.
Library: an Unquiet History by Matthew Battles
Provides an intriguing historical study of libraries and books, their preservation, and destruction, from the U.S. to Europe and Asia, from medieval monasteries and Vatican collections to the ever-changing information highway of today.
For further reading about the history of libraries and what it can be like on the other side of the counter check out: Running the Books: the Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg, Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks, and Gangstas in the Public Library by Don Borchert, Dewey: the Small-town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter, The Library: an Illustrated History by Stuart A.P. Murray, Library: the Drama Within photographs by Diane Asséo Griliches ; essay by Daniel J. Boorstin, The Librarian’s Book of Quotes compiled by Tatyana Eckstrand, and Revolting Librarians Redux: Radical Librarians Speak Out edited by Katia Roberto and Jessamyn West.