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Book review – This Book Is OVERDUE!

August 13, 2010

This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson

I’m quite embarrassed to admit how much I paid in overdue fines on this book (without even reading it), or how long it took me to read after I actually bought a copy.  Suffice it to say that while it took me most of the summer semester, it is absolutely no reflection on the book in any way.

This book should be required reading for all library students, perhaps all librarians.  In a more anecdotal manner, Ms. Johnson hits on almost all the topics that we read about in my introductory course last summer (IST511).  She touches on issues from patron privacy to the current state (and future of) librarianship, Google, blogging, Second Life and archiving. 

While Johnson presents a generally favorable view of librarianship, she is very honest about it.  She describes budget cuts, whole departments being slashed, and research collections being relegated to second class status, all with a slight air of disapproval. 

The continuous thread that Johnson weaves through the book is that behind successful libraries, there are dedicated professionals who are passionate about preserving information, organizing it, and making it available to those who need it.  The librarians that Johnson portrays throughout the book are the stewards of the profession, having inherited a professional tradition while pioneering its transformation into the digital age.  It is very exciting to think that in a few short months, I’ll be officially joining these ranks.

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