Friday, January 23, 2009

Library Confidential: Oddballs, Geeks and Gangstas in the Public Library Library - Puts the Shh! in Shocking

I must admit I picked up the book, "Library Confidential: Oddballs, Geeks and Gangstas in the Public Library Library - Puts the Shh! in Shocking" (Yes, I agree it's such a long title) because of its title. No, not because of the wordy title. The words "Library Confidential" reminds me to the movie, "L.A. Confidential".

Then I checked out its blurb section & I was thoroughly amused.

Here how it's written:

Product Description
The public library is a haven of calm, source of information, home to the student, the geek and the aging librarian. Or so you might think. Don Borchert's ten years as assistant librarian have taught him that a library is more than just a place to borrow books, it's also a place where people hide from the law, fall in love, fight, deal drugs, introduce their children to reading, look up porn and pursue their dreams. Borchett's hilarious memoir delves behind the bookshelves as he discovers the weird, dangerous and downright dirty world of a public library and the fearless civil servants who patrol its aisles.

And when I read about what it's said on the Author, I decided it's about time I try to read a non-fiction:
Don Borchert has been an assistant librarian in the Californian Public Library system for 10 years. He previously worked as a cook, a fine china salesman, a Christmas tree chopper and a sod farm worker. This is his first book.

And I was not disappointed! The book was very much engaging eventhough it's not a work of fiction. Perhaps it's due to the way the Author wrote or there's just something intriguing about someone who had been working all kind of jobs & eventually settled down as an assistant librarian for 10 years!

The title of the book, "Library Confidential: Oddballs, Geeks and Gangstas in the Public Library Library" & its witty caption, "Puts the Shh! in Shocking" has sufficiently described what the book is all about. After reading it, I assure you'll never have the same view about a library. I know I'm feeling more respectful towards librarians & their assistants.

And no, the book is not completely humorous per se. There's one memorably touching love story included.

It's between two disabled adults, Michael and Rebekah. They got to know one another in a free class given for disabled adults. Michael helped Rebekah in the class and they later moved in together.

They had difficulty to live on their own & had a habit of returning videos late to the library. (One of the librarians out of pity always waived the fines.)

One day Michael said goodbye to the library staff as he & Rebekah would move away to start a new life. But just as he left, he gave the librarian, who always waived the fines for him, a hug and told her they weren't really going there and then walked out looking incredibly sad.

My guess is that they were to return to the institution where disabled adults are taken care. Which means they would have to forgo their 'freedom' & privilege of living together.

All in all, it's a good book (you'll appreciate the excitement of being part of the Library workforce) & it truly changes my stand that a non-fiction book usually tends to be boring.

Give this book a try & see if you disagree with that.

1 comment:

Ivan Chew said...

>>>
you'll appreciate the excitement of being part of the Library workforce
>>>
Really? OK, I must check out the book to find out what exactly is being written! LOL