Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This Book is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson

This Book is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All
This book was given to all MNPS librarians by Dr. Susan Whitworth at our "End of the Year Celebration" in May. It had rave reviews about how funny it was. I didn't find the book as a whole that funny, but I did find some funny parts.
I don't read much nonfiction, so this was quite a change for me.
I am going to comment on this book by posting some quotes I found enjoyable; I feel they will speak for themselves.

  • Librarians' values are as sound as Girl Scouts': truth, free speech, and universal literacy (8).
  • Librarians are essential players in the information revolution because they level that field. They enable those without money or education to read and learn the same things as the billionaire and the Ph.D...They are the little "d" democrats (8).
  • Look at all you can do here! was the message patrons got when they walked into one of these places (45).
  • If you are out of diapers, do not open the soiled diaper, scoop out the turd, leave the turd on a shelf, and then ask the librarian to tape the newly cleaned diaper closed again...(63).
  • "This site draws its name from the Chivalric Order of the Duchy of Caledeon Primverness, and Members of the Order take vows of Literacy, Obstinacy, and Bibliomancy." Bibliomancy? It's defined for us a little further down: "Divination by jolly well Looking It Up" (155).
  • We are old, stooped-over people doing old, stooped-over things. They want us to lighten things up, they want the library to be active and hip, they want to pit in a cafeteria and schedule entertainments- they want us to join the modern age (199). Comment: This quote reminded me of the meeting of MNPS HS librarians at the main NPL branch downtown. A young, male, teen librarian talked to us about all of the rockin' things they were doing for teens and about how they all just wanted places to hang out. I told Gwen this discouraged me because we didn't have money to change our set up to please teens. She reminded me that we are an academic library at JOHS, not a public library. Thanks for the reminder, Gwen!
  • Information justice is a human rights issue; the public library must remain "the people's university" (204).
  • He finally found its three volumes, untouched, in the basement of the Boston Athenaeum research library. "You wonder who they bought these books for, anyway," he said to the librarian. "We got them for you, Mr. Basbanes," he was told (207).
  • Instead of "How to Use Online Databases," we offered classes like "Cookery 101."...We would talk about how to use the catalog or online database, but in the context of a subject (209.
  • I didn't know there was so much in there, waiting for us (211).
  • If we are helping build or create something, save a town landmark, fight for freedom, launch a field of study; if we survive a disaster or witness a miracle- if we do anything with our lives besides watch television- we might want to document it somehow and save the evidence (222). Comment: That is the purpose of this blog.

Here is a link to the book; you can click from here to read the first chapter:

No comments:

Post a Comment