This Book is Overdue! illuminates the excitement and potential of librarianship in a humorous and engaging writing style. Johnson is not herself a lib...moreThis Book is Overdue! illuminates the excitement and potential of librarianship in a humorous and engaging writing style. Johnson is not herself a librarian -- and that's one of the greatest strengths of the book. I've found that librarian writing can sometimes be too introspective and fail to connect with a wider audience. So all the better to have a "super patron" (not sure if she called herself that - but she fits into my definition!) write a book about librarians. Still, the impressive amount and quality of her research, plus the connections she made with so many in the field are, in my opinion, enough to bestow honorary librarian status. She clued me in to lots of names and blogs and twitter feeds to follow to keep up with library innovators. Her chapter on libraries/librarians in Second Life inspired me to reinstall the supposedly new and improved Second Life application on my new laptop (Old laptop had too little memory to run memory-hogging former version)and get a little more immersive. My interest waned a few times while reading it, but that was due to my need to think about non-library things once in a while and not to the merits of Johnson's writing. Overall, an insightful and well-written book!
Thought I'd share some of the notes I took, since I'm too antsy to get on to the next book to write a more thorough review! I used Evernote for iPhone's "snapshot notes" and it worked really well for marking quotes without having to stop and write them down (or dog-ear). BUT I forgot that the page #'s weren't in my images - Sorry!
"This book can be read as a journey into increasingly activist and visionary forms of library work. The walls of the library have grown porous now and in some cases are merely virtual, as librarians have come out from behind their desks to serve as active enablers in the digital age."
On the topic of poop in the library: "I asked other librarians. Yes, poop is a problem, though not as big a problem as slashed budgets, the high cost of electronic databases, and the preposterous fees OCLC charges libraries to use WorldCat." p. 64-65
"Information Justice is a human rights issue...The library must remain 'the people's university...and librarians can get involved and shape the future or they can sit back and watch the changes." - EJ Josey, qtd. in Johnson 2010
J.J. Jacobson, Director of the Caledon Library in Second Life was sidelined briefly, stated: "Trying to run an imaginary library is kicking my pixilated butt with a pixilated shoe.' But she knew that I knew that she was joking about that 'imaginary'." JJ Jacobson
"...the thing our visitors had the hardest time wrapping their heads around was that our libraries are not the in-world presence of some brick-and-mortar library but have an independent existence." JJ on visitors to ALA presentation on Second Life
"Libraries need to leverage every technological capacity we can...and we need to learn how to serve an expanding range of kinds of communities" - JJ
On the merits of preserving a letter to an editor written by a writer to distinguish her as "FRIEND OF BILL SCHULZ": [At the least:] it would be another glimpse behind the library shelf of the effort and serendipity and wild stories involved in the process of amplifying the literary voice" p. 219.
"The time soon will come when the idea of defining the clientele a library serves in very narrow, often geographically constrained terms will seem very quaint and old fashioned," librarian Tom Peters wrote in a blog for the ALA...."Perhaps a few forward-thinking library staffers with the full support of their boards and their currently defined clientele, should openly declare that they serve the entire world, at least in theory."p. 246
quotes Ray Bradbury on the Internet: "'It's distracting,' he said. 'It's meaningless; It's not real. It's in the air somewhere.' Well, yes...but also, no."
NYPL's Digital Experience Group: "It ultimately says that we're not concerned with digital technology for its own sake...We're concerned with people's experience. There are certain tools like 'user experience design' or 'user analysis' that have been integral to the way that the dot-com world works and are just starting to make their way into the library world." p. 189
"There were fifteen people in [Joshua Greenberg's:] Digital Experience Group, about half of them had come from I-schools, great library schools that had reconfigured themselves as 'information schools'. Everyone on his staff had librarian values, loads of technical training, and an eagerness to think broadly and creatively about the role of a library in the digital and cultural landscape. While other depts. in the library system are losing librarians through attrition, Greenberg was still hiring (he had planned to hire ten more, but the economic crisis later that year limited him to three). p. 189
His digital group started with the basics. When people click nypl.org, what do they find? Libraries took it for granted that you came onto a home page and jumped from there to the catalog or databases, but Greenberg said, 'In the era of Google and Yahoo!, that's not good enough."
"All this other stuff is happening that resonates with a more active role for librarians. It's messy,' he said, cheerfully. p. 192(less)
This book demonstrates Goodman's potential, but the comparison to Jane Austen is undeserved. Research was solid and writing style quite lovely. Her ju...moreThis book demonstrates Goodman's potential, but the comparison to Jane Austen is undeserved. Research was solid and writing style quite lovely. Her juxtaposition of rare books store and tech startups definitely appealed to me, and I found it hard to put this book down. While the characters and situations were compelling, in my final assessment I think that there were just too many of both. My expectations were high for the ending, but Goodman's choice of resolutions (or lack thereof in the case of some characters) just did not satisfy. (less)
Earlier this year, I caught part of a radio interview with Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish on KUOW. The glimpse into Dr. Abuelaish's devastating, but ultimately hopeful story compelled me to request a copy of his recent autobiography, I Shall Not Hate. For me, the best books are those that probe the depths of human experience. I've encountered a large number of such works written by Israelis and Palestinians, that often, as is the case in Dr. Abuelaish's memoir, transcend the divide between these respective peoples and offer hope for coexistence and friendship.
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish was raised in the Jabalia Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip. Despite his family's impoverishment, he excelled in school and became a distinguished doctor and infertility specialist. His medical expertise along with his personal commitment to treat all human beings as equals earned him great respect among both Israelis and Palestinians. He commuted weekly to his position at an Israeli hospital, unable to make the return home nightly to his family in Gaza because of the time and difficulty of crossing the border. A father of 8, he and his wife, Nadia, instilled the same values of education and human equality in their 6 daughters and 2 sons. Several of his daughters attended peace camps in which they made lifelong friends with Israeli counterparts. Then, tragedy. An Israeli air strike hit the Abuelaish home in January, 2009, killing 3 of his adolescent daughters and a niece.
What makes this book--indeed, this man--remarkable, is his response to such life shattering devastation. Rather than resorting to anger and revenge, Dr. Abuelaish finds comfort in the hope for his living children, in the memories of the daughters he lost, and his belief that education and promotion of understanding between peoples is the only path to peace.(less)