Many librarians have already heard of Marilyn Johnson’s This Book is Overdue: how librarians and cybrarians can save us all and despite my end of semester crunch I decided that this title was well worth reading amidst working on my final assignments. This book particularly interested me because of the non-librarian identity of the author. Since starting library school at McGill, all of the reading I have done on librarians and about libraries has been written by librarians or academics in the field of information studies. Marilyn Johnson’s journalistic observations allow a unique perspective on what an “outsider” considers the most interesting aspects of the world of librarianship. Recently I read that librarians should be more concerned about how libraries fit into the lives of their users rather than how users fit into the make-up of the library and I felt that reading Marilyn Johnson’s book would help me to adopt this approach. I read through This Book is Overdue very quickly and my interest and enjoyment varied greatly depending on the content of the chapter. Marilyn Johnson is without a doubt a great storyteller. In her book, she paints a picture of modern librarianship by sharing the individual stories of “modern librarians”. This personal touch is endearing and the reader feels compelled to care about the concerns of the librarians and their attempts to help users to the best of their ability. Probably the coolest part of reading this book was realizing that I already knew a lot of what she was sharing. Although, there were some very interesting stories about librarians who I had never heard of and who are working hard to provide great service to their patrons, I was extremely excited to realize that I knew many of the people that Marilyn was referring to as example librarians. Seeing people who are close to me like Graham Lavender (The Blog People, pp.52-53) and Amy Buckland (Wizards of Odd, p.149) appear in this book on “Librarians who can save us all” totally blew me away! I was enthused at the prospect that not even out of library school and I am obviously already running in circles with the right people (I already knew how cool they were but now their coolness is out there for the world to read about)! Hopefully their awesomeness is rubbing off on me so that I will also be able to “save the world”! Regardless, of whether you are associated with anyone in this book, the fact that it presents librarians in such an optimistic and positive light is such a breath of fresh air. Knowing that library users can see past stereotypes and appreciate the work of librarians is extremely encouraging and I hope that this book will demonstrate to the general public how cool librarians are and, to the librarians who read this book, I hope it will provide motivation that people are paying attention to our dedication and that with the right attitude we can really save people!
August 24, 2012
[…] Save Us All!“, a book that was on my “To Read” list but which I bumped up after reading Biblioblond's review where she mentioned that a couple of our mutual friends got a shout-out in the book. Very […]