free-for-all1Some people think that libraries are stuffy, tomb-like places run by bespectacled octogenarians whose primary  function is to go around shhhussshing  others.  Those of us who actually work in one know that’s far from the truth.  One book I found that  really hit the nail on the head as far as how libraries today really operate  is Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks and Gangstas in the Public Library by Don Borchert.  Okay, it’s about a library in California, so some things are a little different, but it is still a quick read that’s delightfully funny, yet peppered with some very poignant moments.

down-cut-shin-creekFor a nonfiction take on the subject, check out Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky by Kathi Appelt and Jeanne Cannella Schmitzer.  During the Great Depression, this WPA program was started to put women to work and to serve the very poor in remote regions of the country.  These courageous book carriers provided their own horses or mules and were paid  a whopping $28 a month!

miss-rumphius2As far as children’s books, an old favorite of mine is Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney.  Miss Rumphius, a retired librarian, plants lupines all over her community– in order to leave the world a better place.  The message is touching and the illustrations inspiring — it’s a feel good book that just makes you want to go out and DO something!

3 Thoughts on “National Library Week — Great Books about Librarians

  1. Lynn Ann on April 16, 2009 at 8:38 am said:

    I thought emptying the book drop in the snow and rain was brutal. Can’t wait to read “Down Cut Shin Creek.”

  2. Another great book featuring a librarian is “The Giant’s House” by Elizabeth McCracken. The main character is a librarian and there are some great insights from “the other side of the desk”!

  3. Elizabeth on April 16, 2009 at 11:34 am said:

    Miss Rumphius is a wonderful book – a beautiful story about a life well-lived. Also, the illustrations are gorgeous!

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