No, I haven't read every book
file404/ShutterstockSometimes I recommend books I haven’t read. I don’t have as much time to read as you might think, and there are some genres I’m not interested in. I may suggest something based purely on a review. Here are 20 books you should have read by now that you can happily read in a physical or digital format.
I'm not just there to find books
Vereshchagin Dmitry/ShutterstockHave a question about something other than a book? Bring it. We can help with background checks, genealogy research, and formatting résumés. One time, a little boy brought in a feather and was so excited when we figured out what type of bird it had come from.
You don't need to be 100 percent silent
GaudiLab/ShutterstockGo ahead and make a little noise. Just make sure you exercise proper cell phone etiquette. We allow cell phones and shush people only if we hear their conversation from more than three aisles away. Certain spaces are meant for mingling, like group learning and community events.
Don't trade accuracy for ease
As author Neil Gaiman said, “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” A big part of a librarian’s job used to be finding information—now much of it is sifting the reliable information from the slanted. However, there is one thing Google can do that a librarian probably can't: find you a job.
There's one question I hate
Ermolaev Alexander/ShutterstockI’m really, really tired of people asking, “Are libraries obsolete?” There are more libraries in the United States than McDonald’s restaurants—an estimated 119,487, including school libraries—and 53 percent of Millennials had visited a library in the past year as of 2016.
Book drops hide some real treasures
rSnapshotPhotos/ShutterstockWe never know what we’re going to find in the book drop. We’ve pulled out toys, trash, clothing, shoes, food, condoms, and even a dozen doughnuts. Once, there was a live raccoon in there. Don't miss these 11 crazy stories of overdue library books that were finally returned.
Books are only the beginning
Suriyawut_Khongyuen/ShutterstockA growing number of libraries are installing “makerspaces.”These labs provide materials, technologies, and tools for do-it-yourself projects. Come in and use a 3-D printer, a video-editing station, a sewing machine, or craft supplies—all free. Check out this other hidden perk you never knew you got with a library card.
Yes, we probably can waive that fine—with reason
Africa Studio/ShutterstockWhen it comes to waiving fines, most of us have unrestricted power. If there’s a good reason you’re late (say, you had a family member in the hospital) or if you’re especially apologetic, we can make them go away with the click of a button. Here's how to come up with the perfect apology.
We are seen as a refuge
Cookie Studio/ShutterstockA lot of libraries are makeshift daytime shelters for the homeless, and we struggle with how to handle that. Some discourage it by banning sleeping; others have added social workers who can help. Learn the incredible way one library is helping the homeless.
We've seen some weird things in books
savva_25/ShutterstockYou’d be surprised at how many people use their credit cards as bookmarks. Other unexpected choices: unfilled prescriptions, Band-Aids, photographs, notes and cards, and dollar bills. Check out these other crazy things librarians have found in books.