Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Overdue or Future Discard?


2008-12-29-dscn7638
Originally uploaded by martin_kalfatovic
Don't know why, but all the hoopla (at least in libraryland) about:

THIS BOOK IS OVERDUE
How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All
By Marilyn Johnson
272 pp. Harper/HarperCollins Publishers. $24.99

give me the feeling that the library profession is getting patted on the back just at the gold watch is getting handed over and it's shown to the door.

Bernie Sloan, in a post on LITA-L captured my sentiment on March 15 in his take on the NY Times review of the book:
"Johnson cheerleads for these Brave New Librarians, championing the efficiency of online searches and digitized archives. And yet, without meaning to, her book comes off as a paean to a previous age, when fact-finding meant trekking through the Dewey Decimal System. Johnson writes best when she’s meandering and browsing, in the manner of a woozy reader exploring the stacks. In her most absorbing passages, I felt as if I were back in the children’s library, scrutinizing a volume of the World Book Encyclopedia." (NY Times)

I guess even when folks are championing the future role of librarians in society, they tend to wax rhapsodic about the libraries of their pasts. Which may not be particularly helpful to those of us trying to shape the library systems of the future... (Bernie Sloan)
Just a thought ..

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