Adult Non Fiction about Librarians and Libraries

libworkI 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 Sheridanlibquiet
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.libstrongest

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.liboverdue

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.

libbreedDear 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 Battleslibunquiet
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 libhistoryBorchert, 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.

Favorite Picturebooks About Libraries and Librarians

Is there any wonder that those of us that love libraries also love books about librarians and libraries? There are a number of wonderful picturebooks that can show children to true magic of a library, how to unlock its joys, and how  to behave there. These books can remind adults and introduce young children to the many reasons why our libraries, regardless of the form they take, are such special places.

Bats at the Library by Brian Lies.
Bored with another normal, inky evening, bats discover an open library window and fly in to enjoy the photocopier, water fountain, and especially the books and stories found there.

The Library Pages by Carlene Morton, illustrations by Valeria Docampo.
Mrs. Heath is horrified when she sees the changes the students have made while she is on maternity leave and wonders if her wonderful library will ever be the same.

Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk.
Sam, a shy but creative mouse who lives in a library, decides to write and illustrate his own stories which he places on the shelves with the other library books but when children find the tales, they all want to meet the author. If you find this book particularly fun, there are a series of books that chronicle Sam’s library adventures.

The Librarian of Basra: A True Story From Iraq by Jeanette Winter.
In spite of looming war, librarian Alia Muhammed Baker was able to save the books from the library of Basra by moving them to safety. Simple forms and deep colors in a naïve style evoke the war without being explicit. The bravery and action of one person celebrates both everyday heroism and books as a unifying force.

Tomás and the Library Lady by Pat Mora, Illustrated by Raúl Colón.
While helping his family in their work as migrant laborers far from their home, Tomás finds an entire world to explore in the books at the local public library.

If those are already favorites in your house, or they are all currently checked out, then here are some more books to help keep you turning pages; No Pirates Allowed! Said Library Lou written by Rhonda Gowler Greene, That Book Woman written by Heather Henson, Library Lion written by Michelle Knudsen, Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, Stella Louella’s Runaway Book by Lisa Campbell Ernst. and There’s a Dragon in the Library by Dianne de Las Casas. Did I leave out a great picturebook about libraries or librarians?