Book review by Aarene Storms: This Book is Overdue!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

This Book is Overdue! How librarians and cybrarians can save us all by Marilyn Johnson

What do librarians really do? Does the world still need libraries? Couldn't we just turn the whole thing over to Amazon* and quit paying taxes for all this stuff?

This book begins as an vibrant, adamant rebuttal to all who may think that libraries -- and librarians -- are unnecessary and out-of date. It praises the nimble-thinking modern librarians who provide information wherever and whenever it is needed -- in real time and sometimes in non-real space.

Alas, the author falls victim to one of the great pitfalls of research: rabbit holes. Whole chapters meander through her observations of librarians in Second Life, tattooed bloggers, circulation migrations, and technology that is no longer relevant nine years after publication.

Read the first chapter-- it's great. Sadly, the rest is outdated, not helpful, and not even fun to read. Too bad.

*The article "Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money" was published in July 2018 by Forbes magazine's online edition. Outcry against the concept, and against the author, was fast and immediate. Forbes deleted the article from its website in less than a week, but of course, nothing on the Internet really ever disappears.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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