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Unsolicited Advice: Observations of a Public Librarian

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What is the meaning of life and librarianship? This book attempts to address the 99 percent of our professional lives that is ridiculous. If the 1 percent sublime leaks forth, well, no ones perfect!

208 pages, Hardcover

First published December 1, 1992

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Will Manley

11 books2 followers

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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Profile Image for YoSafBridg.
198 reviews15 followers
May 24, 2008
Every once in a while weeding can begin to feel like the chore that it is. Like when it's extremely hot. And when you have inherited the collection of an old-fashioned, Luddite librarian who believed that your small library branch should serve the function of an archival branch (or maybe she didn't really believe that but she Did Not believe in weeding, this i know.)
(once when i was out bar-hopping with roommates and one of them was wondering what librarians did (with all their copious free time) and i mentioned weeding she thought i said reading and she was shocked that i would have to spend time at work reading and my other roommate corrected her~i mean can you imagine a librarian...Reading? and she actually was shocked, and a little horrified as well, i believe...)
We are part of a large library system. We are a small branch. There is only so much room. Books can easily be brought in from other branches. Even out of print books can be brought in from Somewhere through ILL (yes, i am one of THOSE librarians~if only i could weed my personal book collection as easily...) But i really don't like old ugly, dirty, used, soppy books~and yes there does seem to be a question begging here, but not by me (unless of course it is one of my favorites, one of those books i think Everyone should read~but of course Those books aren't ugly~Or i'll invest in a pretty edition.)
I remember when i was a teenager i discovered one of my absolutely favorite books at my local library, First Person, Singular by Vida Demas. And i had to keep going back to check to make sure it was still on the shelf, because somehow, i intuitively knew those books would sometimes suffer some mysterious demise (which it eventually did.) With the advent of the internet used book search, i eventually, years later acquired my own copy, but was so sad to see the library's copy go...
So i've been weeding lately, all those books on computers from the early 1990s and the like (and i'm also having nightmares about the old library manager coming into the library and demanding to know where all Her books have gone~actually i think it's a sign i might have gone a bit overboard~the shelves are looking a little more empty and i'm feeling a little insecure) I also discovered Will Manley's Unsolicited Advice published in 1992. For those who may not know Will Manley (pictured above~a picture i've always found just a bit...interesting, by the by), he is a rather ubiquitous presence in library land and i have always found his columns rather humorous so i thought i might check out his book and at least give it a circ stat before deciding what to do with it (though some may call this inflating statistics, i can't very well take it home without checking it out now can i?)
Anyway, i didn't find the book quite as insightful or as entertaining as his columns. I have to wonder if it's twenty-first century sensibilities imposing themselves on the rather stuffy-seeming sensibilities of the turn of the century or its just me (i can be a bit radical...although i am very much in support of a graduate degree for professional librarians~and not just because of the debt i incurred obtaining mine {i also think we should be state certified and there should be testing standards...gasp} i did not know what Festschriften was until Manley defined it~must have been daydreaming in library school that day~tho i never did that~so maybe my, very excellent, library school neglected that subject {more gasping}...) I also found myself wondering if his letters were really sent to him or created by him so he could compose his own witty answers. Or perhaps i'm just cranky...
3,224 reviews27 followers
July 20, 2019
Big fan of his column back in the day. THEN I discovered his books! I would think anyone who has worked in the library for a long while will relate to much of what he writes and get a good, hearty belly laugh at his observations! He writes bout the stuff we talk about (and likely think!). Too good!
I've noticed more library folks are publishing their experiences for us to read and have read a few, as well. Can't go wrong with any of them! I should write my own. You know no outsider would ever believe our tales...
Profile Image for Clark.
356 reviews3 followers
March 24, 2022
I found these letters and answers very interesting. In most cases I was surprised by the advice that Will dishes out. A very rare type of book. I have a better idea of what goes on in a library now. Found this book in the Schertz Public Library in Texas. Glad they still had it on the shelf.
4 reviews
April 18, 2011
Will Manley is awesome! This is actually the fourth book I have ready by him and I think I am in love. Manley, a library administrator/commentator uses this book to comment on the issues and situations that arise in the library work world. It is formatted like a series of Dear Will letters, asking for Mr. Manley's advice on a variety of issues from un-culinary coworkers to creative interview questions. This series is humorous in its authenticity and I recommend it to anyone (not just us lowly library workers!)
Profile Image for Erin.
163 reviews6 followers
June 16, 2008
I couldn't finish more than 5 pages of this atrocity. Run away!!
Profile Image for Angela.
94 reviews
May 5, 2014
I liked it, especially the Dear Will parts. However, the replies weren't nearly as humorous to me...
Some I don't think they were meant to be.
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews

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