Thursday, February 12, 2009
“SSSHHH!!!” says the librarian with a scowl…
Scott Douglas’s memoir Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian was HILARIOUS!!! I was honestly laughing out loud as I was reading before bed and my husband kept on looking at me like I was a nutcase!!!
Scott Douglas is a librarian in his late 20s and this book is his journey through the public library system. The anecdotes that he tells are truly side-splitting and I would love to hear from a librarian whether half of these things actually happen! (Douglas assures the reader that all events are true in his Epilogue.)
It starts with him as a library page whose only duty is to shelve books while he is desperately trying to prove he is not a moron. Unfortunately, he learns that the librarians that he works with don’t even read and think that Pynchon is actually Julia Roberts’s new boyfriend! The book goes on to tell funny stories about computers coming to the library, obnoxious teenagers, story time for the school classes, elderly people that come in drunk on electronic wheelchairs, ESL issues, what he actually thought about library school, and library politics with the archetypal librarian characters.
Here’s an excerpt that I found particularly funny:
[…] Hon, an aging Asian woman. She knew little English, despite having lived in the United States for over thirty years and working in a job where English is the only language spoken.
Despite the language barrier, I like talking to Hon – mainly because of our language barrier; not even a week had passed and we already had a morning greeting. Each morning Hon would come in and ask, “How you do day?” I would reply, “Fine. How are you today?” And Hon would say, “Yes.”
About a month into my stay at the new library, Hon got mad at me. I’m not sure why exactly, but she came to me and said, “I mix peanuts in your shoe.”
I didn’t know what she meant, but I could tell by her tone that she was angry. “What’s wrong?”
“Cements in the paper, plus I need a bag.”
I looked at her, confused. She got angrier. “Cements in the paper!” she said.
She walked away from me, and we didn’t speak for two days.
This book is HILARIOUS and everyone should pick this one up if they need a giggle!!!