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‘Check These Out:’ St. Louis County librarian Gina Sheridan shares her list of books

St. Louis County librarian Gina Sheridan shared 200 of her favorite books.
Alex Heuer

Whether it’s lounging on a favorite chair inside on a rainy day or laying out by the pool on a warm summer’s day, a book is perfect for either scenario.

And, hoping to instill a love of reading, one St. Louis librarian has compiled a list of 200 of her favorite books—in a book!

Gina Sheridan is the self-described “incurably curious” manager of the St. Louis County Library’s branch in Clayton. She’s also the author of “Check These Out: One Librarian’s Catalog of the 200 Coolest, Best, and Most Important Books You’ll Ever Read.”

The list is diverse and covers multiple categories and genres—audiobooks, books about books, graphic memoirs and books made into films, to name just a few.

And, despite what some might think—that a library’s relevance and attendance is down as people increasingly consume media digitally—that’s not the case, Sheridan said.

“Traffic is so very up in our library, (and) contrary to public belief, e-books are not taking over print books at all,” she said.

But, having to choose only 200 books? It was a subjective process for sure.

“If you disagree with me please let me know,” Sheridan said. “I want people talking about books and I want to hear books that you like. I want to hear where I went wrong, what genres I missed, because we all win when we’re talking about books.”

Sheridan’s first book, “I Work in a Public Library,” collected some of the bizarre encounters, odd patrons and unfulfillable requests Sheridan has experienced in her tenure as a librarian. In a visit to “St. Louis on the Air” in April, she related her strangest memory: a poultry-related incident.

For chickens—and people alike—libraries are increasingly becoming more of a community space, Sheridan said.

St. Louis on the Air discusses issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh. Follow us on Twitter: @STLonAir.

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Alex is the executive producer of "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.