Thursday, May 13, 2010

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

In case you didn’t know, I begin classes this fall in Information and Library Science. So, the title of this book caught my attention right away. Johnson’s book gave me a nice overview of the changes in the field. She talks about the transformation from the card catalog to the digital age, from shushing librarian to reference activists providing 24 hour service. It’s a quickly changing field and Johnson captures the excitement as one who embraces the opportunities change brings.

My favorite chapters were: “On the Ground” in which Johnson discusses what the process of keeping up with current technology is like for librarians and IT specialists (who often butt heads); “The Blog People” because, obviously, I like blogging. Here are a couple librarian blogs which Johnson mentions and I found interesting: Miss Information (anecdotes and personal stories) and Tame the Web (with a current events and tech focus). And last but not least, I really liked “Gotham City” that explores the massive New York Public Library – its branches and services, changes and adaptations to budget cuts and community needs. If I ever make it to NYC the library is on my “to see” list.

The video is one I’ve seen before on another review about This Book is Overdue! by a fellow blogger. Believe it or not, each year the ALA holds a drill cart competition. Johnson attended one in 2007 and reported it was hilarious. The video is of the 2009 winners’ drill. Enjoy.

Johnson’s writing style is informal giving the text a personal quality as she focuses on individual librarians and their accomplishments. Some places were a bit dry. Personal descriptions tended to be long-winded. I wasn’t interested in a librarian’s mustache or glasses frame but his/her achievements. Otherwise, the text was very readable. Anyone working in a library or similar setting will likely enjoy this book. I’m glad I read it. I feel like I have a better idea of what I’m getting myself into! I can’t wait.
Publisher: Harper, 2010     Pages: 272
Rating: 4 Stars                     Source: Bought on Amazon


  1. I just finished this book a few weeks ago and thought it was great! I'm sure now you can't wait until classes start! :)

  2. I wish I had studied library science! I think it is a wonderful profession.

  3. Nice review! I am a few chapters into this book, and I like it so far.

  4. How interesting! I'm rather interested in the Library Science field too, and that's one of my top two contenders for my master's (though I'm still two years from bachelor's.. sigh.) I'll keep my eyes open for this book.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)