Marilyn Johnson’s This Book is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All is the recommended reading for LIBR 203. This bring about one of those not-so-rare-yet-wonderfully-satisfying moments where there is a correlation between what I read for school and what I would read for fun. And fun it was! It’s not a long book (272 pages) and offers only a few snapshots of the many things librarians are doing around the world. And not even around the world. The snapshots are mainly US-centered.

But of course, I’m not objective. Librarians are our own biggest cheerleaders and though I hate to say it, I see this book as a lot of preaching to the choir. Which isn’t bad, but I’m willing to bet that the majority of readership is comprised of librarians and library-fans. Those of us who know, know. And those who don’t know, will probably skip over this title and move on to a “bigger” title.

I still view libraries as the nation’s best kept secrets. Not on purpose, of course, but there is a lot of internal marketing compared to outreach. I have a Trader Joe’s near my house. 4 blocks down is a branch of the Oakland Public Library. Trader Joe’s has a board where people can post local events and classes. I never see any of the library programs posted on this board. Nor at the public transit station nearby.

I had a friend. Brilliant. Ph.D. in Physics from Yale. 37 years old. Had never been to a public library in his life until I took him a few months ago. (He’s totally converted.)

We’re very eager to share information once you get to us, but this wallflower act so many of us have going on isn’t leading too many people over. I dream of the day when I don’t need to defend my decision to get an MLIS.

Even if This Book is Overdue! doesn’t get the secular following I wish for, I hope that other LIS professionals find it as inspiring and morale-boosting as I did.

This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All

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