Nonfiction Books about Libraries and Librarians

In April, the American Library Association celebrates Library Appreciation Week (April 7-13). Books about libraries and told by librarians themselves hold a special place in the hearts of library staff everywhere.

Here are a few nonfiction items about librarians that you can find on the shelves of the Davenport Public Library. (Descriptions from the publisher)

The Library Book by Susan Orlean — On the morning of April 28, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual false alarm. As one fireman recounted later, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.'” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library — and, if so, who?

Available in regular print, large print, and audio book on CD

Reading behind bars : a true story of literature, law, and life as a prison librarian by Jill Grunenwald — In December 2008, Jill Grunenwald graduated with her master’s degree in library science, ready to start living her dream of becoming a librarian. But the economy had a different idea and jobs were scarce. After some searching, however, Jill was lucky enough to snag one of the few librarian gigs left in her home state of Ohio. The catch? The job was behind bars as the prison librarian at a men’s minimum-security prison. Jill was forced to adapt on the spot, speedily learning to take the metal detectors, hulking security guards, and colorful inmates in stride. Over the course of nearly two years, Jill came to see past the bleak surroundings and the orange jumpsuits and recognize the humanity of the men behind bars. They were just like every other library patron–persons who simply wanted to read, to be educated and entertained through the written word. By helping these inmates, Jill simultaneously began to recognize the humanity in everyone and to discover inner strength that she never knew she had.

Available in regular print.

Dear Fahrenheit 451 : love and heartbreak in the stacks by Annie Spence — If you love to read, you know that some books affect you so profoundly they forever change the way you think about the world. Some books, on the other hand, disappoint you so much you want to throw them against the wall. Either way, it’s clear that a book can be your new soul mate or the bad relationship you need to end. In Dear Fahrenheit 451, librarian Annie Spence has crafted love letters and breakup notes to the iconic and eclectic books she has encountered over the years. From breaking up with The Giving Tree (a dysfunctional relationship book if ever there was one), to her love letter to The Time Traveler’s Wife (a novel less about time travel and more about the life of a marriage, with all of its ups and downs), Spence will make you think of old favorites in a new way. Filled with suggested reading lists, Spence’s take on classic and contemporary books is very much like the best of literature sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes surprisingly poignant, and filled with universal truths.

Available in regular print.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bad Behavior has blocked 2786 access attempts in the last 7 days.