Buried in information? Cross-eyed over technology? From the bottom of a pile of paper and discs, books, e-books, and scattered thumb drives comes a cry of hope: Make way for the librarians! They want to help. They're not selling a thing. And librarians know best how to beat a path through the googolplex sources of information available to us, writes Marilyn Johnson, whose previous book, The Dead Beat, breathed merry life into the obituary-writing profession.
This Book Is Overdue! is a romp through the ranks of information professionals and a revelation for readers burned out on the cliches and stereotyping of librarians. Blunt and obscenely funny bloggers spill their stories in these pages, as do a tattooed, hard-partying children's librarian; a fresh-scrubbed Catholic couple who teach missionaries to use computers; a blue-haired radical who uses her smartphone to help guide street protestors; a plethora of voluptuous avatars and cybrarians; the quiet, law-abiding librarians gagged by the FBI; and a boxing archivist. These are just a few of the visionaries Johnson captures here - pragmatic idealists who fuse the tools of the digital age with their love for the written word and the enduring values of free speech, open access, and scout-badge-quality assistance to anyone in need.
Those who predicted the death of libraries forgot to consider that in the automated maze of contemporary life, none of us - neither the experts nor the hopelessly baffled - can get along without human help. And not just any help; we need librarians who won't charge us by the question or roll their eyes, no matter what we ask. Who are they? What do they know? And how quickly can they save us from being buried by the digital age?
©2010 Marilyn Johnson (P)2010 Tantor
“A spirited exploration of libraries' evolution from fusty brick-and-mortar institutions to fluid virtual environments.” (Kirkus)
“This is a book for readers who know that words can be wild and dangerous, that uncensored access to information is a right and a privilege, and that the attempt to ‘catalog the world in all its complexity’ is heroic beyond compare.” (O, The Oprah Magazine)
If you haven’t visited your local library for a while, you might be in for a surprise. Marilyn Johnson in “This Book is Overdue” lets us know why Marian the Librarian is now a cybrarian. Everything has not gone “e”, but the old patterns are passing even in the most isolated repository. This book informs the reader about the state of libraries and librarians as they are coming to be – er have become. Anyone familiar with libraries of late will find contemporary perspectives. For example, a section details the role of the Federal Government in trying to breach confidentiality. This is not a new issue, but has new implications. Other chapters tell the “inside story” and reveal “the dark side” of libraries. A chapter on activism among librarians in the US and abroad is interesting. This is a very entertaining and informative tome. Anyone who loves books will not be disappointed. Anyone seeking to understand how the e-revolution is being operational zed in the country will be rewarded for reading. The reading of Hillary Huber is very good.
This book was written for anyone who loves libraries, librarians, and looking towards the future in the field. It was an exciting look at current trends, and the information culture. As a future librarian, this book helped to reinforce the absolute need of information, and the continuing need of librarians with a diverse technological background.
I especially liked the chapter on librarian blogs, and the detailed looks at sample libraries within the overarching theme of the book. The narration was great too! This is not too technical a book, and can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest. Meaning it is not just for librarians, it is for anyone who wants to know how we still need libraries, and how we always will.
There were a few interesting parts but overall, it was pretty dull. I think there might be about one hour of interesting material here, I could see this excerpted on NPR or other podcasts.
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