Sunday, February 7, 2010

Marilyn Johnson Champions Librarians in "This Book is Overdue"

Just published.

Link to February 6 Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune article, "Here's to librarians, saviors of the data-weary".

Excerpt: Librarians have a champion in Johnson, yet her clear bias takes nothing away from the book, partly because she builds a solid case for their existence. While almost anyone can Google almost anything, we're vulnerable to a sort of "information sickness" that Johnson describes as not knowing where one piece of information leaves off and the next begins. "I was, in other words, overstimulated yet gluttonous for more."

This is where librarians are our best allies, and Johnson thankfully adopts a "show, don't tell" approach. She takes us behind the reference desk to witness the shift to an online digital catalog (not a pretty sight); introduces us to the often cynical world of librarians who blog (InfoFetishist, Obnoxious Librarian from Hades); reveals the heretofore unimagined challenge of poop in the library (really!), and interviews the "Street Librarians" at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul who decided that, as masters of reference material, they could be of some service, whether to protesters or politicians.

Related article:
"This Book is Overdue". (11/17/2009)

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