WSIRN Ep 138: The Librarians Are In

Today I’m having a bookish heart-to-heart with Gwen Glazer and Frank Collerius about serving the public by way of literacy. Gwen and Frank work in unique roles at the New York Public Library system, and together host the wonderful podcast The Librarian Is In.

I enjoyed this conversation so much, and learned a ton about how librarians’ roles have shifted over the past decade, how libraries adapt to meet their patrons needs, and how you can give back to your library in valuable ways. I also strongly suspect many of you are going to want Gwen and Frank’s jobs by the time this episode is over. (I don’t blame you a bit.)

What Should I Read Next #138: The Librarians Are In with Gwen Glazer and Frank Collerius

Want more Gwen Glazer and Frank Collerius? Listen to The Librarian Is In!  You can also follow Frank’s branch on Instagram, get ideas for yourself or your book club from NYPL’s recommendations page or on Twitter.


Books mentioned in this episode:
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If you’d like to support your local indie, check out And by all means, go grab one of these from your local library! 

• Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
• Lucky Boy, by Shanthi Sekaran (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
• Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
• This Must Be The Place, by Maggie O’Farrell (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)
• A Place For Us, by Fatima Farheen Mirza (Amazon | Barnes and Noble)

Do you have a favorite library memory, beloved local library program, or hot library tip? Let us know in comments!


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  1. Theresa says:

    I love Gwen and Frank’s podcast. They are some of the best book people. Can’t wait to listen to this episode.

  2. Kim says:

    Wonderful podcast today! Gosh listening took me back to my childhood. I’d take the bus downtown & spend entire afternoons getting lost in a great read! Now I love taking my grandkids to the library & showing them all the new ways they too can enjoy books & the programs offered! So exciting to know libraries are thriving with new possibilities! Thanks Anne

  3. Stacy says:

    I recently discovered their podcast after they were guests on another Podcast that I listen to called Overdue. They were so much fun to listen to on that one that I started listening to their podcast and was delighted to hear them as guests here as well.

    I always have a bit of guilt about how I use my public library. I’m definitely a master of the hold list so my basic interaction is to walk in, grab my hold books, check out (usually using the self check-out) and leave. Not much interaction with what I’m sure are lovely people actually working there.

  4. Susan in TX says:

    Great episode! I’m one of those people who’s never gotten around to reading Never Let Me Go, and based on this discussion it sounds like it would make a great book club read… maybe a winter read for MMD Book Club? Just a thought…

  5. Meagan says:

    I just recently discovered your podcast and gorged on them for two five hour drives I had last week. I loved this episode and especially at the end when asked about a great book, you said, you weren’t going to name Crossing to Safety because you talk about it too much. That is “my” book. I recommend it to anyone I love and find most people haven’t heard of it. I knew we had a connection!

  6. Alice says:

    What a fun podcast with Gwen and Frank! I am a heavy holds user, but I had not tried any electronic resources from the library. I was motivated by the podcast to figure out how to use my library’s audio and ebook offerings. It was a simple few minutes to download an app from my regional library system and start listening to David Sedaris reading one of his books. Thanks for the encouragement to get this going, librarians.

  7. Kathleen says:

    What a fun episode! I too have fond memories of my childhood library. My family still laughs at the time I found out it would be closing for renovations. I exclaimed, “What if you have an emergency?!”

  8. Anna says:

    Thank you for this wholly entertaining while simultaneously professionally inspiring episode. It kept me smiling through a long morning run and then, later in the day, inspired me to take my husband on a tour of my decade-ago local library. He, like I was, was enthralled by the impressive updates, such as a maker space complete with sewing section and knitting looms, recording studio for lessons for aspiring artists, and a coffee shop ( all added to the still impressive 4-story physical book collection. As a librarian myself, finishing my MLIS when the digital debate was raging (early 2000s), I am proud to see our career still a promising one, and one that enriches lives in countless ways. Thanks for sharing this good news, Anne, Frank, and Gwen!

  9. Amanda says:

    Public library director here and I loved this episode! My favorite part of my job is helping people with their family history. Many libraries have available free at the library. Something else important to know for NY listeners is that all New York state residents can get a library card from NY Public Library and then use their ebooks. It’s an amazing benefit! I definitely agree with Frank about the quality of adult programming in libraries – come check us out!

  10. Rebekah in Redlands says:

    I’m really mystified by comments about people not knowing how the hold system works. It makes me wonder if I’m missing something. Like, maybe my name would move up the list faster if I bribed the librarian on top of paying the $0.75 hold fee???

    • Nadege says:

      Wow, I didn’t know that some libraries charged a hold fee. Lucky us, no such thing in the Charlotte NC library system. We are allowed up to 15 holds – no fee.

      I really enjoyed this episode and will now look for their podcast.

      • Rebekah in Redlands says:

        I don’t mind the hold fee. Our library has almost everything I want to read and I rarely have to place a hold to get a book. I probably only pay 3 hold fees a year and I’m sure I check out about 50 physical books every year.

        On the plus side, I’m cheap, so if I pay $0.75 I will absolutely read the book. Sometimes I use the fee as a strategy to conquer the TBR.

  11. Alyson says:

    I loved this episode so much. I can’t really articulate why…but it was delightful (and I don’t use that word in every day conversation). My mother was a librarian, and I grew up participating in summer reading programs every year, so maybe it was a bit of nostalgia? Anyway, thank you!

  12. S says:

    I have such fond memories of my childhood library – participating in summer reading challenges, devouring the children’s section, being so proud to be reading from shelves above my grade level (the kids section was organized by reading level). When my kids were little, library story times were wonderful and we always checked out a basket full of books. I was truly heart broken when my days of perusing the picture book section was over… I am now on our library board, donate yearly to our friends group, place holds regularly, and do my part to keep circulation up!

    I love Gwen and Frank – I am so envious of the NYPL resources after listening to the episode on family ancestry!!!!

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