Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Metro Spirit

The Metro Spirit ran a nice review of "Quiet, Please." Check it out here!

Roland (from the Book)

The man who I now refer to as "Roland (from the Book)" has finally took my advice and started a blog. You may remember him as the guy that ticked everyone off for making fun of the handicap, while I was away on my honeymoon.

His first real blog (his other two are reruns from a previous blog he wrote) is about ChaCha, which we both tried out of boredom while we were supposed to be working. We asked meaningful questions like "Can God build a rock so heavy that even he can't lift it" to meaningless questions like "What is Britnany Spears' sock size"'s a clever post worth checking out.

Coincidently, Roland will be DJing at a club in LA this weekend. Go check it out! I think I might actually go to this one... if you want to check out French Pop Music go here for more info!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Yours for the low price of...

I have updated my Web store (; it now has two items instead of one. Both things do include shipping and handling charges, so what you see is what you pay (unless it's international, of course).

Two notes on those two things:
One, The Library Tree will cease to exist once I sell all the get it now while you can. I'd like to one day do a bit a revision and see this book published by an actual publisher, but until then I'm going to stop the first run at an even 100 (these have all been pre-signed, dated, and numbered)...seems like a good number. If the demand ever presents itself, I'll put out a new edition one day in the distant future...but you can own the first and original (unrevised) version! You can also read the first three chapters at the link above...

Two, a signed copy of Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian is also being sold on my website for $25. You'll get it a whole lot quicker buying it the traditional way (through an online bookstore like Amazon or an actual store like Borders), so I would go that route; if you want them signed just see me at a reading, and I'll be more than happy to sign the book. If you would like it personalized, then make sure and tell me when you buy the book what you would like it to say.

Monday, April 28, 2008

NPR, Dallas - Think

Those of you who don't want to go through the hassle of iTunes or don't have iTunes, here's a direct link to the 50 minute NPR interview...

Podcast Interview

Those of you who want to here my 50 minute radio interview (my longest interview to date!), you can now download it as a free Podcast off the iTunes store. Just search "KERA Think," click on the only show, and I'm on the 4/28 episode under "Dispatches from a Public Librarian."

The Obsolete Man

Step in the Twilight Zone for an oldie but goodie about a librarian in a world that finds no need for such a thing. Thanks to Mark for sharing...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Shall We ChaCha?

Apparently, I've been out of the loop because I only recently discovered a free new reference to txt service called ChaCha. Is there a catch? Read their FAQ and see for yourself.

Is it the hottest new next trend to threaten real desk reference as we know it? No. Not in my opinion anyway. But they are currently looking for people to hour all the questions they get; the average person will make between 4 to 10 dollars a when people say the future of librarians is not good they obviously don't know how to ChaCha!

Technology has been a threat to librarians for over ten years; not so much because it really does threaten their jobs, because we just aren't figuring out ways to incorporate it into the library. Reference to txt is a great idea; why aren't more libraries experimenting with it? What better way to communicate with your patrons.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

NPR, Los Angeles "Patt Morrison"

Thanks to all of you who listened to me speak on NPR Los Angeles's "Patt Morrison" radio broadcast. To those of you out of the area or unable to tune in, you can now listen to the show online. It was the last thing on the Thursday, April 24 show.

I am scheduled to do NPR in Dallas and ABC in Napa next week, and an East coast show at the end of May.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Amazon Kindle 2.0?

With Amazon finally shipping Kindle's is it too soon to say Kindle 2.0 is on the horizon? Some don't think so. Rumors have been buzzing that a new one may come very soon. At 399 bucks a pop, let's hope it's a cheaper version...although at the rate they're selling I highly doubt it will be.

I think most people will start catching on when a nano-ish version appears. Unlike iPods where it's nice to store thousands of songs, most people would be happy with a device, I'm sure, that will hold just a few hundred (perhaps even dozen). Maybe Apple will catch on and offer an iPod Touch with a ebook feature. I've read books on my PDA phone (just slightly smaller than the Touch) and it's really not that small or hard to read.

So, Amazon, let's get the thing into the 200 dollar range, and then I'll sign on the dotted line. If you want me to pay 400 bucks for an e-reader, then you better be prepared to slap on a full feature color Internet browser onto it...

ALA Panel

Below are the details on my ALA appearance. It can also be found here:

First Author, First Book
Sunday, June 29
1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (Location to be announced)
Join new (and soon to be best-selling) authors as they talk about their first adventure in writing - what motivates them and how they got published. This program has become a favorite for those looking for the “next big thing” in print. Authors include Kaya McLaren (Church of the Dog, Penguin), Scott Douglas (Quiet, Please, Perseus Books), Mark Sarvas (Harry, Revised, Bloomsbury USA), Daniel White (The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind—and Almost Found Myself—on the Pacific Crest Trail, HarperCollins), and Anya Ulinich (Petropolis, Penguin). This program will be moderated by Barbara Hoffert, Editor of the Book Review, Library Journal. A book signing will follow.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bob Dylan, Take 2

Bob Dylan is at work on Chronicles Vol. 2; those of you who have not picked up the first Chronicles, you are missing out! This book isn't just for Bob Dylan's more about the Village and what was going on around Bob Dylan, then Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan's a mystery...he reveals only enough about himself to keep you begging for more.

The current rumor stands that it will be released at the end of 2008. So basically, on top of performing 100+ dates both internationally and domestically, plus working on that Hank Williams CD, plus doing his radio show, he's going to write another book! How many other 66 year-olds are doing this much? Heck how many 20-something year olds are doing this much?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Wrapping Up...

This week went good for "Quiet, Please." Reviews in USA Today, Pop Matters, and the OC Register helped get the books sales was even sold out for a brief moment on Amazon.

Then the weekend came and even more good reviews came in. It was listed as a Discovery book in Sunday's LA Times Review of Books (who said it, "given us closet librarians an appreciation of what that job entails"), given a quite extensive, and good, review in The Scotsman (so I guess now I'm global), who said, "There is a rich vein of humour in the book, at times wry and at others boisterous, like a Douglas Coupland slacker hero relocated from the world of e-commerce." And Finally, down in Florida, Solares Hill said it was, "a good read, often funny and occasionally thought-provoking."

I have three upcoming radio appearance, rumors of more book reviews, and Flaunt Magazine will be excerpting a portion of the book in a summer hopefully the book will continue to do well. Thanks to all of you who have supported me from the books get go...please keep spreading the word!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Insanity @ the Library

Thanks to Elizabeth for this...I'm sure all of us library workers have seen bookdrops with these kinds of dents!

Her favorite library is: Morro Bay Library

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Good

Apparently, National Library Week makes people excited about reading...go figure. Here's one more review from yesterday.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

USA Today, OC Register, & PopMatters

The Orange County Register, USA Today, and PopMatters each have coverage of "Quiet, Please" today.

OC Register Article:
"Quiet Please, the Librarian is Watching"

USA Today review can be found here. Really, I'm not sure exactly what to say to someone who calls me "self-consciously hip." What the heck does that even mean! I never claim to be hip in the book, nor to I claim to be hip now! I'm a nerd with glasses, which, no, doesn't mean I'm a hipster! But it's USA Today, so I'll digress...

Finally, PopMatters has a reveiw & interview up.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sexy Librarian?

I'm not sure I agree that all of these are sexy, but it's nice to at least have libraries get noticed by Hollywood. Read the full story here:,,20190897,00.html

Monday, April 14, 2008

Local TV Interview

If you live in the OC/Los Angeles/Riverside area, I'll be doing a live TV interview this Wednesday; the name of the show is "Daybreak OC." It's a local station, and is also brodcast on cable TV. I don't know what time I'll be on, but the show is on from 6 to 8, so set your DVRs if you are not a morning person! I'll post a clip from the show if I can get one...

Would You Look @ That!

Look Ma! I'm on display at Barnes & Noble next to the biography of some aging celebrity that I've bet you've even heard of! I'm also hearing reports of a window display at a NYC bookstore.

I've also seen it at every Borders I've been too (both East Coast & West Coast), and in every case it's with "Literary Criticism"...who knows why!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


The Sacremento Bee has put "Quiet, Please" on their Spring reading list and says:

"Shhhh! No, actually, you won't hear that much anymore, writes Douglas, a 20-something librarian who sets out to show that public libraries are, well, pretty hip places. You know, with all their computers and cafes and weird customers who try to hide in the bathroom right before closing. Very funny stuff."

Thanks to all of those who have helped spread the word...I am always greatful for your support.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Michael Chabon's Spidey Sense

I've wondered ever sense seeing Spider-man 2 what Michael Chabon contributed. McSweeney's now gives a chance to see! Read Chabon's Spider-man 2 screenplay here! Now if only they'd share that draft of X-men I hear he wrote...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Last Chance @ Insanity

The "Insanity @ the Library" contest is quickly coming to an end. Get those photos in for your chance at a free signed copy of "Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Librarian."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Insanity @ the Library

From Rachel

(A barbershop quartet serenading a librarian for Valentine's Day)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Los Angeles Magazine, etc.

Here's a few more blurbs of reviews currently out there about Quiet, Please: Dispatchs from a Public Librarian.

The April 2008 issue of Los Angeles Magazine calls it "“Hilarious and oddly moving." (

Rivet Magazine's blog says it's a, "truly funny glimpse into the daily life of a public servant." (

Curl Up with a Good Book says, "It’s hard to take a break from laughing in this book." (

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Flobots

I don't get excited about music often (unless it's Bob Dylan), but every once in awhile a group comes around that actually has smart lyrics and a nice The Flobots; they've been around a couple months, but their single "Handlebars" is finally getting coverage on the radio. The songs good (the video is awesome), but the album is great. Take a listen for yourself...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Pregnant Man?

Courtesy of my wife, this is by far the strangest story I've seen in a while!

And if that wasn't strange enough, perhaps the video below will be the right fix you need to vomit and laugh!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Booklist, etc.

All the big library journals/magazines have reviewed my book. One loved it, one liked it, and one...well judge for yourself. And if you get the time, please write a review of yourself on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or wherever you shop for books. There are some pretty big reviews coming in the next couple weeks, but they haven't been published, so I can't talk about them quite yet.

Booklist - Reviewed April 1, 2008
Douglas launched his career as a page in a library branch, and never wholly losing his enthusiasm, he persevered, got an education, and now works as a librarian at Southern California's Anaheim Public Library. For several years, he has been documenting his experiences on McSweeney's Web site, giving vent to all the hopes, fears, everyday joys, and constant frustrations of daily life in a public library branch. Patrons with all their foibles take on recognizable form, from rowdy, sometimes threatening teens to an elderly patron demanding the Oxford English Dictionary on audiotape. Douglas casts a jaundiced eye on library administrators, but he does clear away stereotypes about public-service librarians and affirms their worth. Hardly a systematic treatise on public librarianship and limited by the very format of a blog (and its ineluctable narcissism), Douglas' memoir nevertheless offers unique and utterly engaging insights, valuable for public librarians, managers, and trustees. Mark Knoblauch

Publishers Weekly -Reviewed week of 3/24/08
McSweeny’s contributor Douglas was a college student who liked books and needed a job, so he became a page in a “run-down” Anaheim public library. He soon discovered the “dark truth about librarians”—that they don’t actually read much. Still, lacking better career plans, he accepted a state grant to get a degree in library science. The more he got to know his local branch, the more it felt like “watching a soap”; the staff was “like a family.” When he’s not repeating petty tales of staff infighting, Douglas focuses on four types of library users: teens, homeless people, crazy people and the elderly. According to him, most of them smell, all but the elderly make too much noise, and they all, in defiance of library rules, try to access pornography on the internet. After retelling a story of someone masturbating at the computer, or of nefarious activities in the public restroom, the author is quick to follow up with proud words about being a non-discriminatory public servant; his pieties wear thin after awhile. Early on, when Douglas realizes he’s a librarian because he loves helping people he’s quite likeable, but when his stories become prurient, it’s a turn-off. (Mar.)

Library Journal - Reviewed week of 3/11/08
Verdict: This self-described "humor memoir" provides a mostly enjoyable glimpse into the sometimes maddening world of public librarianship. Footnotes, asides ("short pointless interludes"), and other McSweeney’s-esque touches can be grating; acknowledgement that "many things…have been exaggerated to make this book more entertaining" affirms a not-always-reliable narrator. Smirkier than Don Borchert’s wry library memoir Free for All, it nonetheless provides real insight—assuming you can believe it. Click here for Douglas’s blog.
Background: A college student who fell into a job as a public library page, then went to library school at 23, Douglas, now a 28-year-old Anaheim Public Library (CA) staffer and McSweeney’s contributor, looks skeptically at the value of his LIS education. Life in the library runs the gamut, including bureaucratic slogging (staff committees, grant writing), minor crisis (rats, masturbators, crazy patrons), and productive work. Douglas holds forth on fellow librarians—they lack social skills and don’t read—but more productively applies his skepticism to a fast-food chain plumping summer reading or politicians who neglect the library. Still, a broad variety of patrons—kids, teens, seniors, immigrants, the homeless—make use of the library and harvest his sincerity: "I was staying because I liked helping people."—Norman Oder

Stephen M. Cohen @ LibraryStuff also posted his thoughts on the book March 31st.
I received a preview copy and finished it awhile ago, but forgot to blog about it. Shame on me because it was fantastic. There were probably many times throughout the reading where the passengers sitting near me (I only have time to read on the train) wanted to complain because I laughed out loud every 5 minutes. In fact, I almost spit up my Red Bull a few times.
I have always been a fan of Scott’s so I was thrilled to read more from him, and it’s not because I agree with him most of the time. In fact, I booed (in jest, of course) when he changed his mind sometimes about his reactions to certain library services. To each his own, for sure.
So, go out and take this book out of the library, although I wonder if Scott would want you to buy it so he can retire early. Either way, it will be a quick and worthwhile read.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Library Themed Wedding?

So the big questions I keep getting asked is if Diana & I had a library themed wedding. And the answer? Yes and no. If you weren't there, you'll just have to wait for the pictures.

The wedding itself was not literary; there's not a lot you can do to book-up a wedding. We tried our best to incorporate books into the reception, however. Every table (there were 30) was named after a writer; on the table was a book by that writer, along with one or two other books; each table also had a library card with the writers name and photo on the front, and facts about the writer on the back (also on the back was Diana and I's favorite book by that writer). The centerpiece to the table was a book folded in such a way that it had a round type shaped (a picture describes what the heck I'm talking about much better, so just wait). Also on the table was a framed picture of the writer, and a crossword puzzle that we made up that was all about books. Sadly, no one was fined late fees for arriving late...we didn't have anyone to police such behaviors.

I'll have more soon, I'm sure!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Insanity @ the Library

We have our first winner for the "Insanity @ the Library" photo contest! Thanks to this fine library lover, who reminds us no guns are allowed inside the library! Stayed tuned next week for the next winner.

Just a reminder, it's not too late to enter. Just submit your photo to

Thanks to Judy for this!

Her favorite library: San Diego County Library, Poway Branch