Saturday, August 16, 2014

‘The World’s Strongest Librarian’ by Josh Hanagarne

Book cover: The World's Strongest Librarian, a Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family by Josh Hangarne. On his back and shoulders, a weightlifter supports a pyramid of books.
My inclination to enjoy reading The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne began with the table of contents. Each chapter’s list of subject headings includes their classifications in the Dewey Decimal System.

Hanagarne is a librarian in Salt Lake City, Utah. He’s also a weightlifter who embarked on his regime in an effort to manage Tourette Syndrome.

Hanagarne writes with an engaging, personable style and with an unabashed love for books and libraries. He shares with candor his experience with Tourette’s, his struggles related to continuing his faith within the LDS Church and his efforts with wife Janette to start a family.

This book is accessible and enjoyable on many levels. Readers will find much with which they can relate within Hanagarne’s book.

What resonated most personally with me is Hanagarne’s belief in libraries as places where “anyone could enrich their lives” by making use of the library’s resources: “Is it too lofty to hope that a library could curb the poison of racism? That it could create a reality usually expressed by treacly expressions like ‘a sense of community’?”

I share with Hanagarne his belief that “A good library’s existence is a potential step forward for a community” and that a community is ill if it no longer believes that it needs a library.

The World’s Strongest Librarian is classified under Dewey section 020.92 and can be found through our Jackson County libraries. I’ve recommended its purchase as an audio book for Overdrive/Library2Go.

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