Don't Ban Our Books

I have this conversation several times at every library conference, and PLA last week was no exception

Librarian: "We love your comic strip!"

Me: "Thank you. Would you like to buy one of our books?"

Librarian: "Our library already has them all!"

Me: "That's great, thank you for the support. It really makes a difference"

Librarian: "Yeah, we keep them in the staff room."

Me: "What about your general collection?"

Librarian: "Oh no. No, we'd never put them there."

I can never get a straight answer about why this is. My best guess: Unshelved often presents the public as dumb, rude, and/or unreasonable. Well, they are. And I should know because no one is dumber, ruder, and/or more unreasonable than I. But that's not the point.

The point is that librarians, intellectual freedom fighters extraordinaire, aren't supposed to be hiding disreputable books in the back where only they can see them. They're supposed to be shelving disreputable books right up front with all the rest.

So please, don't ban our books. Some of our most loyal readers first discovered Unshelved in the library, on the same shelf as Doonesbury, Dilbert, and Pearls Before Swine, three personal favorites that also aren't afraid to call people stupid.

Update: I've already gotten a ton of emails from folks letting me know that all seven Unshelved collections circulate freely in their libraries, so clearly the above-mentioned phenomenon is an aberration. I also heard from several libraries that shelve our books under "library science", which is both awesome and frightening.

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2017

Nov 10, 2017 St Joseph, Missouri St. Joseph Public Library Staff Day (private event) (Gene)

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