Synopses & Reviews
From The Wall Street Journal to National Public Radio, mild-mannered librarian Don Borchert had America laughing with the hardcover edition of his tell-all memoir that revealed the often startling truth about modern-day libraries. Not long ago, the public library was a place for the bookish, the eggheaded, and the studiousoften seeking refuge from a loud, irrational, crude, outside world. Today, libraries have become free-for-all entertainment complexes filled with rowdy teens, deviants, drugs, and even sex toys. Lockdowns and chaperones are often necessary.
Don Borchert was a short-order cook, door-to-door salesman, telemarketer, and Christmas-tree-chopper before landing a job in a California library. He never could have predicted his encounters with the colorful kooks, touching adolescents, threatening bullies, and tricksters who fill the pages of this hilarious memoir.
In Free for All, Borchert offers readers a ringside seat for the unlikely spectacle of mayhem and
absurdity that is business as usual at the public library. Youll see cops bust drug dealers whove set up shop in the mens restroom, witness a burka-wearing employee suffer a curse-ridden nervous breakdown, and meet a lonely, neglected kid who grew up in the library and still sends postcards to his surrogate parentsthe librarians. In fact, from the first page of this comic debut to the last, youll learn everything about the world of the modern-day library that you never expected.
“The idea of a librarian memoir sounds really boring, but Borcherts voice is never boring, and you keep reading because (1) hes hilarious and (2) its uncharted territory” San Francisco Chronicle “Free for All aims to do for libraries what Bel Kaufmans Up the Down Staircase did for urban schools or what Bill Bufords Heat did for professional cooking” –USA Today
"A wry miscellany of real-life sketches of the public library frontlines . . . For all public libraries." Library Journal
About the Author
Don Borchert lives in Lomita, California and still has his job in the public library. This is his first book.