Friday, March 12, 2010

"This Book Is Overdue!": Hot for librarian

A newly-published book attempts to undermine long-held librarian stereotypes, and defend the value and "indispensability" of librarians at the same time, especially noteworthy in this era of widespread industry cuts. Author Marilyn Johnson argues for the value of librarians in this information saturated, digitally overstuffed age, but all this we already knew, no? Some of the notable thoughts include:
  • "Librarians are one of our most underappreciated natural resources."
  • "As for librarians, they’re civil servants. They deal with all kinds of social welfare problems, from childcare to homelessness to people who can’t navigate the bureaucracy to get benefits or help finding a job. The buck stops at the library. If we keep cutting library aid, people who can’t figure out how to file for taxes, or how to use e-mail, are going to be out of luck."
  • "At a library you’re not assaulted by loaded or manipulated messages... You have to be on guard everywhere in this culture; all information is loaded."
  • " The library is a great place to go to sort out wild political claims. Verifiable information -- the truth -- is their standard."
  • "Librarians are real pioneers, out there inventing ways to engage,... reinventing libraries..., and figuring out how to be useful to inventors and explorers."

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