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Librarian Tales: Funny, Strange, and Inspiring Dispatches from the Stacks

Librarian Tales: Funny, Strange, and Inspiring Dispatches from the Stacks

by William Ottens


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Published in cooperation with the American Library Association, an insider’s look at one of the most prevalent, yet commonly misunderstood institutions!

Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly of librarian William Ottens’s experience working behind service desks and in the stacks of public libraries, most recently at the Lawrence Public Library in Kansas. In Librarian Tales, published in cooperation with the American Library Association, readers will learn about strange things librarians have found in book drops, weird and obscure reference questions, the stress of tax season, phrases your local librarians never want to hear, stories unique to children’s librarians, and more.

Ottens uncovers common pet peeves among his colleagues, addresses misguided assumptions and stereotypes, and shares several hilarious stories along the way. This book is must reading for any librarian, or anyone who loves books and libraries, though non-library folks will also laugh and cry (from laughing) while reading this lighthearted analysis of your local community pillar, the library.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510755888
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 09/15/2020
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 307,572
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

William Ottens is a librarian from Lawrence, Kansas and creator of the library-centric Librarian Problems Tumblr. Described by Library Journal's Tumblr-in-Chief, Molly McArdle, as the GIF-king of all librarian tumblrs, William's Librarian Problems blog pairs common librarian situations, frustrations, and stereotypes with animated reaction GIFs. His public library experience includes work in reference, administration, cataloging, and collection development. He served as Director of the Oskaloosa Public Library in Oskaloosa, Iowa from 2012 to 2015, and is currently the Cataloging and Collection Development Coordinator at the Lawrence Public Library in Lawrence, Kansas. Ottens resides in Lawrence, Kansas.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Where Are the Books? ix

Part I Where All My Problems Began 1

Chapter 1 Every Bookish Kid's Dream (or One Librarian's Path) 3

Chapter 2 Five Things I Learned in Library School 11

Chapter 3 I Need a Library Job: The Struggle Is Real 19

Chapter 4 It's Like a Dream Come True: My First Library Job 30

Part II Tales from… 41

Chapter 5 Circulation 43

Chapter 6 Reference 56

Chapter 7 Youth Services 71

Chapter 8 Tech Support 86

Chapter 9 Collection Services 97

Part III Library Director Tales 109

Chapter 10 [In Ralph Wiggum's Voice]: "I'm a Director!" 111

Chapter 11 The Buck Stops Where? 119

Chapter 12 The Many Hats of a Small Library Director 129

Chapter 13 Leaving the Place in One Piece 139

Part IV Librarian Rants and Raves 149

Chapter 14 We Don't Just Sit and Read All Day 151

Chapter 15 What Not to Say to a Librarian and Other Pet Peeves 159

Chapter 16 Joys of Librarianship 173

Chapter 17 This Isn't My Last Chapter 188

Chapter 18 Final Words and New, Bigger Problems 207

Acknowledgments 217

About the Author 221

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