This Book is Overdue
Marilyn Johnson

Harper Torch
Hardcover/272 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06143160-9
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". . . a smart, witty and librarian-worthy reference . . ."

One book about libraries and librarians that is anything but dull.

Librarians conjure the image of conservative clothes, cat’s eye glasses on a chain around the neck, a pencil in a tightly wound bun, and wearing solid, sensible shoes with an elbow cocked and a finger ready to touch to pursed lips in the quiet world among the stacks. That is not the world author Marilyn Johnson exposes in This Book is Overdue.

Libraries are evolving, becoming more than dusty stacks with silent, shrouded back rooms where only the privileged peek at and fondle prized manuscripts and first editions. Linked with the internet and networked with local, national and international public libraries, libraries and librarians have finally come into their own in the information age. The stereotypes have been left behind. They strut their technogeek and referencing skills in an ever changing world connected at the speed of light and information on the cyber-highways and byways.

The author travels the country and the world to uncover the latest trends and movements as librarians move out of their brick and mortar shells and into the world at cyberspeed. From the virtual world of Second Life to bloggers, then on to Rome where students from all over the world can get a Master’s Degree in information technology to help improve their home villages and their country, Johnson catalogues it all.

The tattooed or roaming and blogging librarians didn’t make the biggest impression on me. Librarians are the first and last word in information dissemination long before computers and the internet. David Smith who once worked at the New York Public Library acted a bridge between the old world of librarians confined to the stacks and the outward bound twenty-first century librarians surfing the virtual, cyber and real worlds with style and innovation. He was the librarian who made it his mission in life to recognize and promote the real reason for the existence of libraries—writers. Johnson adds an enthusiastic, well written tome to those well traveled stacks in This Book is Overdue, one that will open eyes, raise awareness and excite in many ways. This book is overdue no longer.

Reviewer: J. M. Cornwell