Friday, July 6, 2018

Library Superfan

I praise libraries in general, and my library in particular, often. They've always been a second home to me. I also, obviously, adore books. So a few months ago, when I noticed a stack of forms in the library entryway, saying "Do you want us to feature your recommended books?" I of course grabbed one, then took it home and over-thought my answers about which 10-20 books I'd initially suggest.

When I returned, the display had been taken down, so in what might possibly have been the geekiest thing I've ever done, I flagged down a librarian and asked if I was too late, or if she could get my form into the stack they were looking over. She graciously accepted it.

Not long after, I got an email. I was going to be their FIRST recommender. Could I send a list of 40 or more books available specifically at this branch?

My first list was nearly 300 books long, I whittled it down to half that and asked if it would be too much. No, I was assured, having plenty of books meant they could keep restocking the area all month long as people (presumably) checked out the books I'd nominated.

I sent it my list, and the librarian responded with enthusiasm. Then she asked me to come in for a quick interview and photo op. "Where's your favorite place in Hillsboro?" she asked.

I gestured around us. "I know it's corny, but it really is right here." My whole life my favorite places have been my home, Mt. Hood, and the library, and only one of those three is actually in Hillsboro.

The display went up July 1, and at 2:30 she emailed me a picture of it, saying she'd already had to replenish it. I was at the library for a few hours the next day*, and new books had been added again. I feel a strong urge to visit it daily and document what books have been borrowed, but I'm not QUITE that ridiculous.  (But I can tell that the Anne of Green Gables graphic novel, Gabi, A Girl in Pieces, Some Writer!, the Kindred graphic novel, All American Boys and a Harry Potter DVD have all been borrowed.)

My single favorite aspect of this is that the bio she wrote up describes me as a "library superfan." I've never been a superfan of anything, but I can only agree that this is a great description of my overall library love.

*That next day when I was there for a few hours--first I met with a coworker in a study room and we started planning a new course we're both teaching next year. Then I took in the amazing art exhibit. Then I read.


I'm going to share my list with you in an upcoming post. I was already hoping to do something like Deb at Reader Buzz's post of 100 most important books in her life, so this works well. Admittedly, I purposefully did not nominate some books that are already super well known, but then again, I couldn't resist with the ones I love most.


  1. I love this! Your library sounds wonderful. If you are going to be a superfan then being a superfan of the library is definitely the way to go.

  2. I have never seen a library do this, but it's a great idea! Mine is often showing recommendations from the librarians, which is fine, but I really like the gesture of spreading it out to the patrons. Please do share your list.

  3. Oh wow, that's such a lovely and unique thing for a library to do. I wish my library would do that - not just so I could recommend my favourite books, but so I could see what other people are reading.

    I love my library too - it's next to my workplace, and I genuinely turned down another job offer that would take me far, far away from it. It wasn't the only consideration, but it was a large part of it.

  4. This is so cool! It’s like your own bookish shrine. I wish my library would do this. I could easily email them a list of 100 (or 200) books I love. I also really love making people read stuff, so I’d probably visit my superfan shrine every day like a creep to see what was borrowed.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. It is so my superfan shrine. I keep telling my husband I'm going to get business cards printed up that just say, "Wendy Gassaway: Library Superfan."

  5. This is awesome!!!!! I love this idea, and how fun that you were the first one they selected!!!!!!

  6. Wow! As a librarian "in real life" (albeit in a university) I LOVE patrons like you!! Well done! Not Hillsboro, Ohio by any chance? Very near me.

  7. Oh, wow, this sounds amazing!! I love that they made that cool poster about you and everything. And the fact that you can see people checking out the books you recommend is so wonderful. I would love that!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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