Free for All is an accurate depiction of life as a librarian in a public library.
Sometimes, the job is funny. Other times, it’s incredibly sad. If you’ve never worked in a library system, this book will reveal some of the secrets of a librarian’s day-to-day life.
Before I worked at a public library, I thought it was a quiet, organized mecca for students and bookworms. Now, that I’ve spent some time on the librarian-side of the desk, I know better. My idea of a library was far too simple.
It is a study hall, archive, playroom, home for the homeless, kitchen, bank, movie theater, video game store, newspaper kiosk and so much more. I guess the appropriate question is: what doesn’t a library do?
And a public librarian is so much more than just a librarian. She is a counselor, a computer wizard, a curator of excellent and free entertainment.
She talks to the lonely, uplifts the lost and helps the public navigate the dangerous waters of the internet.
Librarians are my heroes.
If I ever cease writing for a living, look for me at the library. Odds are, I’ll end up back there.
Perhaps some of the policies at Don Borchert’s library have changed, but at the time that he wrote this book, they charged 50 cents to put a hold in for a patron. This policy shocked me, as my library always offered that service for free.
Borchert cheerfully documents the difficulties with summer reading people vs the school year regulars. It’s a real problem.
If Borchert’s book is too edgy for you- he uses rough language and doesn’t hold back on some of his opinions- read Gina Sheridan’s I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks.
Both are excellent and realistic non-fiction books about the trials, tribulations, and, sometimes, life-enhancing satisfaction of working at the library.
Thanks for reading!