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

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Harper Collins, Feb 2, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 272 pages

Buried in info? Cross-eyed over technology? From the bottom of a pile of paper and discs, books, e-books, and scattered thumb drives comes a cry of hope: Make way for the librarians! They want to help. They're not selling a thing. And librarians know best how to beat a path through the googolplex sources of information available to us, writes Marilyn Johnson, whose previous book, The Dead Beat, breathed merry life into the obituary-writing profession.

This Book Is Overdue! is a romp through the ranks of information professionals and a revelation for readers burned out on the clichés and stereotyping of librarians. Blunt and obscenely funny bloggers spill their stories in these pages, as do a tattooed, hard-partying children's librarian; a fresh-scrubbed Catholic couple who teach missionaries to use computers; a blue-haired radical who uses her smartphone to help guide street protestors; a plethora of voluptuous avatars and cybrarians; the quiet, law-abiding librarians gagged by the FBI; and a boxing archivist. These are just a few of the visionaries Johnson captures here, pragmatic idealists who fuse the tools of the digital age with their love for the written word and the enduring values of free speech, open access, and scout-badge-quality assistance to anyone in need.

Those who predicted the death of libraries forgot to consider that in the automated maze of contemporary life, none of us—neither the experts nor the hopelessly baffled—can get along without human help. And not just any help—we need librarians, who won't charge us by the question or roll their eyes, no matter what we ask. Who are they? What do they know? And how quickly can they save us from being buried by the digital age?


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Cheryl_in_CC_NV - LibraryThing

Frenetic ode to information specialists" - spends too much time on the few librarians who do amazing things (many of which are surely made more so by Johnson's breathless & superficial viewpoint ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - deldevries - LibraryThing

Outstanding!! The personal stories make this a page turner. For example, the inside stories of the NY Public Library. Combining a love for books and a web enabled appreciation for rapidly changing information and everything digital, the author covers it all. Read full review


Information Sickness
Onthe Ground
Big Brother and the Holdout Company
How to Change the World
To the Ramparts
Librarians to the barricades Anarchist librarians leave the building
Follow That Tattooed Librarian
Wizards of Odd
Whats Worth Saving?
The Best Day
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About the author (2010)

Marilyn Johnson is a former editor and writer for Life, Esquire, and Outside magazines, and lives with her husband, Rob Fleder, in New York's Hudson Valley.

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