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Unshelved is a daily webcomic about the staff of the fictional Mallville Public Library. The main character is the comic book-loving, "determinedly ironic," lazy Young Adult Librarian, Dewey, who always has a snarky rejoinder for every clueless patron. Other important characters include Mel the office supplies obsessed manager, Colleen the aging computer-illiterate, Tamara the ever-cheery children's librarian, Ned the nudist lawyer, Merv the twelve-year-old delinquent and Buddy the page, who is never seen outside of his beaver (formerly woodchuck) suit.

The comics are gag-a-day or short story arcs, and are quite realistic. In fact the author (librarian in real life) claims that the stranger the stories are, the more likely they are to be based on actual events. Allegedly, every single librarian in the world reads it, and so does half of the circulation staff.

The webcomic started in February 2002, originally under the title Overdue. It became Unshelved in 2003 following a trademark issue, leading to the readers voting on the new name. On Fridays (originally Sundays starting in December 2005), the strip becomes The Unshelved Book Club, wherein one of the characters reviews a (real) book; readers are invited to suggest books for review. Weekends now host reruns featuring strips from the first few years of the comic.

Tropes featured include:

  • Bilingual Bonus: Okay, technically Braille is an alphabet and not a language, but same idea.
  • Brown Note: Dewey develops book talks that have this effect, making people faint, break out in rashes, speak Urdu, and so on.
  • ~Busman's Holiday~: Dewey spends his day off reading.
  • Compressed Vice: The storyline about Colleen "quitting smoking"; it's eventually subverted when we learn that she actually quit years ago.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dewey and his boss.

 Mel: People don't like it when you're right all the time.

Dewey: If being right is wrong, I don't want to be right. Nah, I still want to be right.

 Dewey: I wish he would just go away!

Tamara: Buddy's been kidnapped!

Dewey: Mira Sorvino! I wish for a date with Mira Sorvino!

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