The Insulting Librarian

Before scrolling down to read my review of Old Filth by Jane Gardam, take a few minutes to watch this comedy classic about an insulting librarian. There were times I felt this way when I worked in a library and later than a bookstore.

11 thoughts on “The Insulting Librarian

  1. Carolyn May 24, 2010 / 1:12 pm

    Oh my, yes… there are days I feel like that working at the info desk of my library! (one of our other staff members said to me in shock recently, a teenager asked for Wuthering Heights and it wasn't for school! I had to remind him that now it's tied in with Twilight marketing…)


  2. verity May 24, 2010 / 2:43 pm

    I often feel like that. Didn't know you'd been a library-ite too!


  3. Overdue May 24, 2010 / 3:07 pm

    I used to work with a guy who'd start drinking in the early evening and refuse to issue books he didn't like to people. Sure he was an alcoholic, but he was usually only saying what we were all thinking.


  4. kevinfromcanada May 24, 2010 / 4:34 pm

    Thomas: An excellent video. I don't know if you have ever heard about it, but an innovative novel called The Incident Report, by Martha Baillie (who worked in the Toronto Public Library system for 20 years), made the Giller Prize longlist last year. It is both very funny and very sad — as I note in my review, my days in the newspaper business also introduced me to some of the characters who wander into places like libraries and news rooms with their own, somewhat confused agendas. I'm pretty sure it is available in the States — if not it is worth considering as an order from Canada. Here's a link to my review:

    if you'll allow that on your site.




  5. Georgia Jones May 24, 2010 / 8:04 pm

    Remember when we used to consider the idea of having one day a year in our library, when we could say what we REALLY wanted to say to the patron at the front desk?
    I love the Posey Parker movie “Party Girl”. She freaks out at a patron who removes a book from the shelf and then re-shelves the book in the wrong place.


  6. Thomas at My Porch May 24, 2010 / 9:55 pm

    Carolyn: Interesting that Wuthering Heights is tied in with Twilight marketing. What other literary gems could we tie in with that?

    Verity: Way back in my teens, but the sense of disdain lives on.

    Overdue: I don't know whether to laugh or be sad.

    Kevin: That book sounds fascinating. I am going to have to look for it.

    Georgia: I do indeed remember that. I also remember the one lady who would show up once a week with a grocery bag full of romance novels and fill it back up before leaving.


  7. Ash June 7, 2010 / 9:06 pm

    That was hilarious, thanks for sharing!


  8. Biblibio June 11, 2010 / 3:19 am

    That was possibly the saddest thing I've ever seen in my life… I sincerely hope most patrons don't get quite so patronized.

    Okay, I'm off to my corner of shame for the day.


  9. Thomas at My Porch June 11, 2010 / 8:50 am

    Daniel: Which side of the counter?

    Ash: Thanks for stopping by.

    Biblio: In my experience working in a library I sometimes thought those things but never acted on them.


  10. Daniel-Halifax June 11, 2010 / 7:46 pm

    I'm always afraid the librarians remember what I check out…nothing too incriminating but still

    Travel Guide to Uganda
    How to Tie a Fly
    A Nancy Mitford novel

    I alway want to make lists of my weirdest combos


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