or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk

This Is Why I Like Working In A Library

   February 6th, 2013

My library's One Book Chelmsford selection this year is Townie, by Andre Dubus, and the kick-off event was last weekend.

To promote the book with patrons, we decided to hang up a punching bag right next to the circulation desk, so it's the first thing people see when coming into the library. Pretty neat, huh? Plus, since we didn't want to permanently attach it to the wall or ceiling, they let me build a stand for it:

It's nothing fancy, but I like woodworking and carpentry, and any excuse to use power tools is a good one. The wood and hardware cost about $30, and we bought the bag itself on Craigslist for $15, so it's not too much money for a pretty eye-catching display. And in how many other jobs would I get to do something like this?

Patrons seem to really like it too - especially kids. We encourage people to try it, and I'm pretty sure it won't fall over (we tested it). We still haven't decided what to do with it afterwards, but we've got a few months. Who knows - maybe we'll just catalog it and add it to the circulating collection for people to check out.

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10 Responses to “This Is Why I Like Working In A Library”

  1. Matthew Says:

    Love it! Nice work!

  2. Ravana Says:

    Staff room. That definitely needs to become a permanent fixture in the staff room. Don’t know about your library, but it would get a lot of use in ours!

  3. Christina Getrost Says:

    Great job! that’s clever–and you could reuse it later for a display on boxing books and movies, or if there’s some special anniversary of a famous fight or something. But LOL on the suggestion to keep it for staff to whale away on.

  4. Donna Says:

    I agree with Ravana. When I worked in a public library, many a day I wanted a punching bag. Of course a college library does not eliminate the need for a this. Nor does life in general, especially after driving with other people on the highway.

  5. Michelle Says:

    What a creative idea! I worked in a library for five years, and it’s always nice to see what others come up with as far as promoting books.

  6. Swiss Army Librarian » Reference Question of the Week – 2/3/13 :: Brian Herzog Says:

    […] Swiss Army Librarian or, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fear and Loathing at a Public Library Reference Desk « This Is Why I Like Working In A Library […]

  7. LIS blogs galore! « Sarah's Posts Says:

    […] issues.  Some of his other posts cover some of the ins and outs of work in public libraries, like building eye catching displays or changes in policy and how it is implemented.  I like this blog for the practicality and its […]

  8. Emma Says:

    Did you decide yet what you are going to do with this display after it’s not needed to promote Townie?

  9. Mike Says:

    You could probably donate the bag to a local fire department. I’m sure they would have the room and appreciate it.

  10. Brian Herzog Says:

    @Emma: I haven’t heard yet, so no, I don’t think so. Our One Book events wrap up on 4/28 with Andre Dubus visiting Chelmsford, so right now staff is just focused on running the programs. I’m guessing it’ll be something local though – either keep it in the library, or donate it somewhere local like @Mike’s idea.