Unshelved (Unshelved, #1)
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Unshelved (Unshelved #1)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  638 ratings  ·  76 reviews
Welcome to Unshelved, the world's only daily comic strip set in a public library! Writer Gene Ambaum (the made-up name of a real-life librarian) and co-writer and artist Bill Barnes have been publishing since February 16, 2002. Some of the stories are made up, some of them are based on real life, and some are absolutely true stories sent to us from our readers. And the str
Paperback, 127 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by Overdue Media
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Unshelved has been shamelessly recommended to me via Goodreads' recommendation page, based on a few other low key graphic novels that immediately resonated with me. It's almost like the filter won't let me move on until I read this one; I'm glad I finally took its advice. It just screams me! It's essentially Portlandia set in a library. Oh wait, wasn't that a skit? Never mind, that's the feminist bookstore. I'm doing the hand reach now...

Dewey, the main protagonist, is the librarian who mans the...more
Lisa Vegan
There’s a smattering of amusing cartoons along with many mediocre ones. I do love the idea of cartoons about a library, librarians, and library patrons. I accidentally read the second book before I read this first one. Reading this first one, I did understand more about who a couple of the recurring characters are. I might have enjoyed these cartoons more one at a time or a few at a time.

Instead of reading the book(s) you can read this cartoon daily, including via email or feed, which for me wil...more
The best cartoon ever, even if you don't work in a library. I thought it was great before I did (work in a public library), now I know: it's great and very true-to-life!
This is a library-themed comic strip that’s published as a webcomic as well as in this collection. (You can read it - and sign up for it - here.) It should appeal to those of us who work in libraries or bookstores, or who answer inane questions in some sort of information providing capacity. In other words, it rocks.

The characters include Dewey, a reference librarian of the gen x variety who prefers reading comic books to answering reference questions (although he’s good at that, too), and his...more
Amber Tucker
This webcomic is really cute, if not much else. A friend lent me the first five volumes in hard copy, and I just finished one. Admittedly, I found it rather dull at first. Partway through it seems that Barnes and Ambaum start to get a feel for their own creation and the comic actually becomes funny. If you like somewhat twisted, sardonic humour – and/or if you have worked in / frequent a library – you'll probably enjoy Unshelved. (Here is a link to read it online.) Below, a quick summary of what...more
Katya Vinogradova
For all you librarians out there - someone understands! And goes through the same BS that you. And gets the ridiculous requests, and the impatient patrons, and the crazies, and the teens, oh so many teens... Anyway, Dewey is my hero! Looking forward to the next edition.
The very first volume. This is where it all began from what is the capital of Minnesota to the arrival of Buddy the Book Beaver. By the way, Buddy is my favorite character right behind Dewey, who is one of my heroes. Librarians will certainly love the humor, but anyone who has been to a library can appreciate the humor as well. Because, in the end, a lot of the fun and bizarre stuff that happens in libraries is universal. If you are looking for a different kind of comic strip to read, this is a...more
Librarians possess secret knowledge. This much is known. They have also kept Unshelved, a hilarious comic strip set in a public library, a secret from the rest of us mundanes. Readers, teachers, anyone who appreciates libraries, or feels the frustration of public service will enjoy Unshelved. The series gets better as it goes, I am told. I look forward to reading more.

I laughed out loud more than once at Dewey, the unmotivated youth librarian, and Bucky the Book Beaver, the library's mascot. I...more
Aleta Fera
the art can be hard to look at, but you can't skip the introduction stories, and there are several classics, including the debut of tamarra and her favourite letter (T).
Written by a real-life librarian (but Gene Ambaum is not his real name) and illustrated by his friend, Bill Barnes, Unshelved tells the story of the people surrounding the Mallville Public Library. The main character is named Dewey!

The art is rather simple, but the story is hilarious, educating and profess a great love for books. Despite the humorous situations that develop between the characters, it gives a good idea of the inner workings of a library. It could be a librarian training manual.....more
The other John
Unshelved is the first Unshelved collection, the latter Unshelved being a webcomic about life in a library. I would like to put Unshelved on my shelf because it's the first of the series and I want to put all the Unshelved collections on my shelf. This collection begins with a request from Mr. Barnes and Mr. Ambaum to "be gentle". Apparently they think that the initial strips weren't all that good. In my opinion, it's really not that bad. The early strips weren't as good as their later efforts,...more
This is an entertaining collection of daily comics that are intended for a specific audience, namely librarians.
Erin Gunderson
Excellent! This comic strip about library life was great, and sadly there were too many panels that I could relate to. I'll have to look into reading the sequels.
Read as part of Sept.'s book challenge. I got the whole series back in April at ULA and had them signed by the author and illustrator. But I've put of reading them until this month. Delightful. Probably more so for me since I am a librarian and totally get the humor behind it all. Typically I'd give this a 3 for being fun, light, silly, and enjoyable. But I have to move it up to 4 because of all the Library Laughs I got from it. I liked being able to read this 1st volume, because though I knew t...more
I can never decide what it my favorite comic strip of all time: Calvin and Hobbes or Unshelved. Yes, it's that good. The best part is that it's so ridiculous you think it couldn't possibly be real, but then you work in a library and realize how accurate everything is.
I'm not a librarian, but I've worked in bookstores, and I think there's just enough overlap in the experiences to allow me to feel like an insider reading this cartoon book, nodding my head as I recognize a certain type of customer/patron. Some of the strips are quite funny, but the drawing style is sadly pedestrian. I would probably like Unshelved a lot, were I reading it in a daily newspaper. As it is, I'm not sure I'm inspired enough to seek out the subsequent collections, of which there are...more
Better to read as a daily comic than in a collection.
Matti Karjalainen
Gene Ambaumin ensimmäinen ""Unshelved"" -albumi on keskivertoa valjumpi kokoelma kirjastoaiheisia strippejä, jotka parhaimmillaan hymähdyttävät, mutta eivät sanottavammin naurata. Pisteitä ei tule myöskään kömpelöstä piirrosjäljestä. Kirjastohuumoria halajavien - mikäli heitä nyt ylipäätään on olemassa - kannattaakin hakeutua kotimaisten "Kirjaston kissojen" tai Kirjastolehdessä julkaistavan "Kirjastoalaisten" pariin.
This was actually a collection of comic strips rather than a book told in graphic novel form, and I had never heard of it before now. What a hilarious comic! As a bookstore employee and friend of many librarians, I can relate to a lot of the situations presented, and it's nice to just relax and laugh about them. Barnes and Ambaum are fantastic, and I would recommend Unshelved to any reader, especially if they work with books!
I love the comic strip by the Unshelved Guys! I work in a library so I can totally relate to their humor. Of course when it actually happens you don't see it as humorous but when you see it in comic strip format - it's hilarious! I laughed and laughed..

I was lucky enough to attend a conference where Bill and Gene were speakers and they are as humourous and funny in person as they are on paper.
Jul 14, 2007 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Librarians
Shelves: graphicnovel, funny
A compilation of the online comic, this collection was entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny. Thrill to the adventures of Dewey, Mel, Colleen, Tamara, Merv, and Buddy the Book Beaver. The beginning art is rougher than the current look, but already includes the background touches that help make Unshelved so much fun. Check out the current run at [http://www.unshelved.com]!
Feb 28, 2009 Katie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: librarians
Recommended to Katie by: my supervisor
Since I work in a library, I personally LOVE these comics! I guess I'm the most compatible with Tamara since I am also a children's librarian/clerk. Everytime I read these, or share them with co-workers, I swear the authors are looking over our shoulders or observing us for material, because so often we point, laugh, and shout "That happened to me!" :0)
A couple of funny-because-it's-true observations, but nothing too outstanding or interesting about this collection of strips.
Megan Sanchez
I love this library-themed comic strip! Though I have never worked in a library, I have worked in a bookstore and I could recognize many of these common, hilariously annoying customers and laughed out loud a few times at Dewey's reactions to them. I hear that the series only gets better once you're past this first volume.
Dean Anderson
A few chuckles. Much of the material is dated. Also in several strips makes the silly argument that there shouldn't be any filters on computers for children because libraries don't censor. I have yet to find a library that has Playboy or Penthouse in the magazine section. (This is a good thing, of course.)
The first collection of Unshelved were rather basic and not really all that funny to me. I know the later work gets better though so having this book in your collection only makes sense so that characters are introduced and plots understood. This book will really only appeal to people who work in librarys.
Jessica Franco
The print version of the fantastic web comic, this book is fantastic. Any librarian will roll on the floor laughing at the problem patrons, librarian antics, and endless library themed humor. Since it is online for free, I would recommend reading it online and investing only if you truly love it.
May 14, 2008 Jen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: library staff and users of the library
If you haven't read these comics, you need to sign up now: www.unshelved.com

These guys are hilarious, and I just saw them at the Massachusetts Library Association Annual Conference. I bought all the books and have three t-shirts and bumper stickers. Yeah, I'm a groupie.
On the cover, this series looks like it has in jokes about being a librarian, and it does! However, it is also really appropriate for anyone who has interacted with humans as a part of their daily living.

read these books and then subscribe to the comic online!
I don't know why I thought this would be a graphic novel, but it was more of a daily comic strip with regular punchlines. Funny enough, especially with the library/ children's book/ YA fiction jokes, but I don't think I'd go looking for another volume.
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I'm the artist of Unshelved and write Not Invented Here. I mostly read sci-fi, history, biography, science, and mainstream comics. Whenever went wrong in the past and resulted in an alternate dystopian present, I'm a happy man. I have a small bookcase of favorite books that I re-read every year or two.
More about Bill Barnes...
What Would Dewey Do? (Unshelved, #2) Library Mascot Cage Match (Unshelved, #3) Book Club (Unshelved, #4) Read Responsibly (Unshelved, #5) Frequently Asked Questions (Unshelved, #6)

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