Library assistant fired for scandalous tell-all
I just read a depressing article in the Chicago Tribune about a young library assistant in the Lake Michigan area kicked to the curb after she published a humorous fictional memoir about working in one of the area’s libraries.
Stern-Hamilton, who wrote the book under the pen name Ann Miketa, tells readers of encountering “strains and variations of crazy I didn’t know existed in such significant portions of our population”.
The book’s publishers promise you’ll meet:
(T)he naked patron, the greedy, unenlightened patrons, destination hell, the masturbator, horny old men, Mr. Three Hats, and a menagerie of other characters you never dreamt were housed at your public library.
While the book doesn’t name the library the author worked in, its photo collage cover includes a small picture of it. Library officials chided the author for describing its patrons in such great detail they became identifiable. (What are writers supposed to do?) The whole thing has the librarian blogosphere – what, you didn’t know there was one? – in a frenzy. Stern-Hamilton is either demonized or canonized depending on the librarian’s sense of humor.
The author calls bullshit on all of it:
The absolute irony is that the public library is a pillar of free speech, and leads me to wonder why the administration is so upset. It’s fiction.
As a former public library employee, I can testify to the nutty patronage. The library where I worked in Florida was filled with stinky men, most likely homeless, who parked their asses on the couches all day. Many of them slept for hours.
However, the worst part of working in any library, as Stern-Hamilton included in her book, are the freaky masturbators. Countless times I caught men fondling themselves in between the stacks of books. Hey, pal, I think literature is exciting, too, but take it away form the card catalog!
Bravo to Stern-Hamilton for exposing the seedy underbelly of the American public library!