Friday, February 18, 2011

Book Review: This Book Is Overdue!

Media Type: Print Book
Title: This Book is Overdue!
Author: Marilyn Johnson
Publisher: Harper
Pages: Hardcover; 272
Release Date: February 2, 2010
Source: Received for promotional tour
Genre: Non-Fiction

HDB Rating: 3 Keys to My Heart

Recommended to: Potential librarians, people looking for more information into the world of libraries.

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Buried in info? Cross-eyed over technology? From the bottom of a pile of paper and discs, books, e-books, and scattered thumb drives comes a cry of hope: Make way for the librarians! They want to help. They're not selling a thing. And librarians know best how to beat a path through the googolplex sources of information available to us, writes Marilyn Johnson, whose previous book, The Dead Beat, breathed merry life into the obituary-writing profession.

This Book Is Overdue! is a romp through the ranks of information professionals and a revelation for readers burned out on the clichÉs and stereotyping of librarians.

Blunt and obscenely funny bloggers spill their stories in these pages, as do a tattooed, hard-partying children's librarian; a fresh-scrubbed Catholic couple who teach missionaries to use computers; a blue-haired radical who uses her smartphone to help guide street protestors; a plethora of voluptuous avatars and cybrarians; the quiet, law-abiding librarians gagged by the FBI; and a boxing archivist.

I think I was a little confused as to what This Book is Overdue! was really going to contain when I first picked it up. My expectation was that I would learn a little more about what librarians do for us, hear some funny stories, and maybe giggle a little bit. Instead I was ultimately a little lost, because there is a lot of very dense, albeit interesting, technical information in this book. I ultimately ended up skimming a lot of those parts. Too much information overload for one day I think.

However as a source for a comprehensive view of the librarian world today, this is a great book. I did find a lot to love. The book covers everything from community librarians and their experiences with ever changing circulation systems, to research librarians and the way that the web has influenced them. The reader is introduced to influential librarians over the course of history as well. If you are a librarian fan, or perhaps a librarian yourself, I'm sure that you'll really find some of these chapters interesting. Actually, the chapter that caught my eye the most was all about cyber librarians. There are librarians on Second Life? Who knew!

As a person who is not herself a librarian (although I'd love to be!) I found this book to be a little information heavy for my taste. It is one that I will definitely keep for later, and likely pass around, but at the moment it didn't speak to me as much as I would have liked it to. As I said before if you are a librarian, you might find more to love in this book. I do recommend you give it a read and find out for yourself!

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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