Sunday, October 24, 2010

This Book Is Overdue! by Marilyn Johnson

This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us AllBook Information
Johnson, Marilyn. This Book is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2010.

My Summary and Review
Picture this: an online site that allows for user reviews of products and services, and which allows users to customize their settings. This online site has an in-person counterpart. Both the virtual and physical locations are techno-friendly and dedicated to providing excellence in customer service.

Sound like a bookstore, or some other retail environment? Think again! Marilyn Johnson's This Book is Overdue! provides a friendly, up-to-date look at the library world.

Librarians are defenders of freedom of information and of privacy, especially in the age of the Patriot Act. They are enthusiasts who take information services to the streets, offering Radical Reference Services. They enjoy sharing information, so it should be no surprise that many embrace electronic/digital technologies, including Second Life, blogs, audio books that can be downloaded to mobile devices, and online chatting. In fact, one 2009 study of university library chat transactions in Alberta, Canada, revealed that local library staff met the library reference transaction standards 94% of the time.

Marilyn Johnson has published a delightful, refreshing take on the library world. The section on Second Life really highlights the tech-savvyness of many librarians, and would make anyone who thinks that libraries are only for books think twice. This book is a must for anyone who values their public library or who wishes to become a librarian.

Personal Note
I particularly enjoyed reading about the "library book cart event" at the American Library Association's summer event. Having pushed many book carts myself, I would have enjoyed seeing this library performance.

Further Reading

Meert, D.L., & Given, L.M. (2009). Measuring quality in chat reference consortia: A comparative analysis of responses to users’ queries.” College & Research Libraries, 70(1), 71-84.

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