“The profession that had once been the quiet gatekeeper to discreet places of knowledge is now wrestling a raucous, multiheaded, madly multiplying beast of exploding information and information delivery systems.” (This Book is Overdue! by Marilyn Johnson)
Although aimed towards the non-professional, I am sure that some of the contents of this book would be a revelation even to the wizened librarian. Marilyn Johnson goes straight to the gritty ‘underbelly’ of librarianship and spends whole chapters on reference services in Second Life and angry, swearing, librarian blogs. Although the writing isn’t always tip-top (or maybe I’m not used to the ‘reporter’ style of nonfiction yet), Johnson captures the feeling of possibility present in the profession right now – and fairly represents how important librarians are going to be in taming the ‘information age’.
The idea of librarians advocating for libraries wherever and whenever is becoming more prevalent. As Marilyn Johnson suggests, we need to be loud. When I reveal that I’m earning a masters in library science, the most common response is, you can do that? At the very least, many think that this means I’ll be standing around in a library ‘shushing’ people my whole life. Even though this book may focus on the racier aspects of librarianship, reading it, recommending it and even buying a few extra copies to hand out will go a long way towards giving the library the attention it needs. It doesn’t cover every detail of this multi-faceted profession, but it does open up some questions for consideration.
Beverage: Marilyn Johnson quotes, There’s a subversive element to librarianship that I adore, which effectively sums up the ‘raciness’ that she tries to expose. In celebration of that, your beverage needs to have some sort of secret alcoholic component, something like hard cider, a rum and coke, or a whiskey-infused coffee drink sipped out of an innocuous looking teacup.
Reminds me of… unfortunately, since this is the beginning of my non-fiction themed summer, I don’t have much to compare this book to. From what I’ve read so far, it most reminds me of Cod by Mark Kurlansky, which talks mainly about fishermen – mostly, however, I just like mentioning Mark Kurlansky whenever possible.