The Librarian by Allie Morgan

The library saved her. Now she wants to save the library.

I’m a librarian. Every day I encounter people. I serve the regulars, the crime enthusiasts, the bookworms, the homeless, the eccentrics, the jobless, the teenagers, the toddlers, the aged. I know my community well. And they know me.

The library is a sanctuary for some, a place for warmth for others and, on many occasions, an internet café. It’s not always the books that bring us together. That’s why you might be surprised to hear that I’ve been a witness to an attempted murder, a target for a drugs gang and the last hope for people in desperate poverty. The quirks of library life. But what I didn’t expect was for a simple part-time job to become a passionate battle for survival, both for me and for the library.

I’m sharing stories from my daily life to show you that being a librarian isn’t what you think it is. Libraries are falling apart at the seams, and we need to start caring before its too late. So this is my eye-opening account of the strange and wonderful library that saved me and why I’m on a mission to save yours.


When I was a child, my family like many others, couldn’t afford to buy me books unless it was a special occasion and they certainly could never have kept up with my voracious need for ever more stories, so the library was my saviour. Some days during the school holidays it was like a second home, the place I went to lose myself in other worlds, stories other than my own, or to delve into the history of Britain. I am as a result still passionate about the security of our libraries, the idea that they are no longer needed or relevant is absolute nonsense, dangerously so!

So when I noticed The Librarian by Allie Morgan I immediately picked it up and instantly knew that I would both love it and be able to identify with the authors passion to save not only the library she worked in, but all libraries. I was not disappointed! This book is not just a call to arms, but a deeply personal as well as moving story about the authors struggle with her own mental health and how the library became the means of her salvation!

She tells of the endless levels of bureaucracy she and her colleagues faced to keep their libraries open, threats of violence from local gangs, bullying and intimidation by colleagues and councillors. It really is an eye opener, given the sense of calm and the tranquillity I have always associated with a library, to find that behind this façade is a world far grittier than I could ever have imagined. It makes it not just a very relevant read, but on times a deeply inspiring one, because despite everything the author never lost site of why her professional was as vital.

Of course, it is not all endless battles with bureaucrats, she also gives us a moving account of how much libraries are needed by the most vulnerable members of society. Those that don’t have access to a computer, those simply wanting to find some warmth of a cold day, single parents, the elderly, are helped by librarians, who don’t just issue books! They issue sanitary towels, dog waste bags. They help people that have no one else to turn to and receive very little reward for doing so.

I loved how Allie Morgan ‘s The Librarian is the honesty of her writing, her humour and her passionate sense of community. We can see that she understands that without access to this service, many would be  disadvantaged and left to fall to the wayside. Communities need libraries, they have the right to access to the services they provide. Without libraries children with parents that can’t afford to buy them books, will be forever disadvantaged, may never develop a love of books and reading, their education and life chances forever hindered. This book is a says that if we want our libraries to survive, if we say we believe in equality for all, we need to support Librarians like Allie Morgan and their battle to save these valuable resources.  

You can buy this book from Amazon and Waterstones, as well as one of the many wonderful independent bookstores we are so lucky to have in this country!

About the author

Allie Morgan is 29-year-old librarian who lives in Scotland. She runs a secret Twitter account where she tweets about the role of libraries in community life.

My Wonderful Reading Year – September 2022 – The Journey Continues.

September is a month that always for me marks the changing of the seasons, as we begin the drift from summer into Autumn and Winter. I like this time of year and the onset of the dark nights feels oddly comforting, as I cwtch up in bed with some glorious reads. As it is also the month of my birthday, I engage in lots of book buying. Well as every good bookworm understands, you can never own too many books!

So this month I am going to start with the books I read that have sat on my bookshelf patiently waiting to be read. My very own tottering pile of to be read books!

Dog Days – A Year With Olive and Mabel by Andrew Cotter.

If you look at this book and think it is just about the authors relationship with his dogs, you would be wrong. Indeed they feature very heavily, they were his sanity during the dark days of the Covid 19 lockdowns, as his videos were for me and many others. It is also a very deeply moving and often very funny reflection on how the lockdowns effected us all, mentally and physically. Oh how so many people many to find a way through the darkness, until the vaccines allowed us to slowly start to return to a sort of normal.

Meet Me In Another Life by Catriona Silvey

This was the choice of the book club I attend and I loved it. It deals with some complex issues, but still manages to entertain and tell a story that kept me turning the pages long into the night. It is about love, yet not a love story, it’s about friendship and the connection between those who come to mean so much to us. I loved the way the story weaved back and fore, through time and many dimensions and yet never lost sight of the most integral part of the story, the myriad ways the human heart and mind pull us is many different directions.

Stronger by Gareth Thomas

There is no doubting that Gareth Thomas is a complex personality, but what I loved about this book is how this comes across. He allows us under the surface of who he is, to the vulnerable and troubled man below the surface. What I adored is that he acknowledges his ghost writer and yet we can still hear his voice loud and strong.

Then there are the books I have read to review.

Black Hearts by Doug Johnson

The fourth book in the author’s Skelfs series of thrillers, it is a tense and emotional read, with strong female leads and humour that is dark and delicious. Three generations of women, whose lives revolve around death and who are so beautifully written that you can imagine walking into the story and their world. Without doubt, I would buy any book they feature in, just to be able to spend time with them.

The Bleeding by Johana Gustawsson

The story is superb, because there are women are at the center of it. They are the story, their personalities, their actions, the paths they are driven down, making it far more than your average historical thriller. You can never be ready for what you are faced with: the way the words form something we don’t always acknowledge, that women are complex beings, as capable of evil, of desperate actions the same as men. It blows the myth of women as only ever forgiving and nurturing out of the water and that reader is why The Bleeding is breathtaking!

Lessons by Ian McEwan

Many novels succeed because the story roars along at breakneck speed, Lessons does so, because it does exactly the opposite. Within the embrace of the story, we are able to luxuriate in the whole of Roland’s life. How rare is that in modern literature? By far, for me, being able to live through such events as the fall of the Berlin Wall with this man, experience how events in history shaped the course of his life, was this book’s greatest gift. It is ambitious indeed, but it works, because Ian McEwan doesn’t bog it down with needless waffle. Each world, each sentence is designed to bring Roland and his experiences to life in glorious panoramic detail and the result is magnificent.

Well, that was September 2022. Exactly an even split between reading my own books and those I accepted for review. I’m happy with that. Bring on October!