Posts Tagged ‘Avi Steinberg’

Life Lessons From an Accidental Librarian

December 6th, 2010 No comments

51IEkpx6IdL._SL160_Avi Steinberg’s intelligent and amusing new memoir Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian (Nan A. Talese, 416pgs) recounts his two year stint working as a librarian at Boston’s Deer Island prison library. The poorly motivated, but highly educated Harvard grad found the job posted innocuously listed on Craigslist, and was hired even though he did not hold a degree in Library Science. Despite poor conditions, strict prison regulations and interacting with felons on a daily basis, Steinberg found the job oddly appealing. In addition to duties common to most librarians such as checking out books and helping patrons with research, the 20-something academic also had the more colorful duties of examining books for “kites”, prohibited messages traded between prisoners of the opposite sex, and keeping an eye out for any library materials that could potentially be fashioned into weapons. “I am living my (quixotic) dream: a book-slinger with a badge and a streetwise attitude, part bookworm, part badass,” quotes a review in USA TODAY. Read more…