Arminzerella's Reviews > Quiet, Please: Dispatches From A Public Librarian

Quiet, Please by Scott Douglas
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's review
Jul 25, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: nonfiction, librarians, libraries, public-libraries, reference, borrowed-from-the-library
Read in July, 2010

Scott Douglas is a reference librarian at the Anaheim Public Library and he’s been chronicling his days as a librarian for McSweeney’s (website) since 2003. He started off as a page and got hooked; his life has never been the same. Other librarians (especially in public library settings) will recognize the trials and tribulations (and joys and exaltations) of librarianship as Douglas describes the patrons he serves, the problems he encounters, and the occasional rapturous moments where he really loves his job.

I thought I would really like this, and the first few chapters weren’t bad. But after that it was like everything Scott Douglas wrote was slightly off, or off-putting. He worked too hard to be funny, and he went back and forth too much between loving and hating everything about his job. As a fellow public librarian I understand where he’s coming from, but he was over the top in both directions. I ended up hating his patrons and his coworkers more than he did and when he got all nostalgic about them I couldn’t follow him there. I was hoping for some kernel of, I don’t know, hope? guidance? inspiration? I didn’t find it here.

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