As a librarian, Gina Sheridan sees her share of bizarre, strange and heartwarming stories. She’s the manager of the St. Louis County Library’s Mid-County Branch in Clayton.
Sheridan is the author of, “I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks." In addition to sharing some unforgettable stories about patrons, the book is also a celebration of librarians.
“I started collecting the stories just for myself when I was working in Fresno, Ca. and it was my first professional library position,” Sheridan told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Thursday. “I started a paper log of them just for fun so I wouldn’t forget and then a new a site called Tumblr appeared on the internet and I decided to put them online.”
“Probably the chickens,” Sheridan said when asked about the strangest story she’s experienced. “We had a customer come up to the desk and say they thought there were some chickens in the reference room. Sure enough, someone had left live chickens inside some backpacks and left them on the floor and we never learned what happened.”
The book also includes heartwarming stories, one of which Sheridan calls “smaller books”:
“A family who was new to the United States came into the library to get library cards and I walked one of the young girls over to the children’s section to pick out books. She was under the impression that she had to pick really small books because they would be cheaper. So, I got to explain the wonder of the library and ‘no,’ you can choose whatever you want. She was just amazed and blown away and she went home with a stack of books.”
Sheridan is also the author of a book due be released this summer, “Check These Out: One Librarian's Catalog of the 200 Coolest, Best, and Most Important Books You'll Ever Read.”
St. Louis on the Air discusses issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh. Follow us on Twitter: @STLonAir.