Marilyn Johnson is the author of This Book Is Overdue!, about librarians and archivists in the digital age, and The Dead Beat, about the art of obituaries and obituary writers. The Dead Beat was chosen for the Borders Original Voice program and was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award. Marilyn lives in New York's Hudson Valley. Visit her at marilynjohnson.net. Hillary Huber is a multiple Audie Award finalist, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner, and an AudioFile Best Voice. She has recorded close to three hundred titles, spanning many genres.
Librarians and archivists, in all their eccentric, tech-savvy, and service-oriented glory, are celebrated in this highly complimentary and lively survey of their professions. Journalist Johnson (The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries) admires the dedicated librarians she profiles. Among them are bloggers, Second Life enthusiasts, the Connecticut challengers to the Patriot Act, a founder of the Radical Reference collective, public librarians, and archivists organizing and saving collections for posterity. A strong section of the book is Johnson's exploration of the changes taking place at the venerable New York Public Library (NYPL), where this reviewer worked from 1998 through 2001. NYPL has enthusiastically embraced its digital potential and offers remarkable online collections, a bonanza for researchers everywhere. Johnson also notes, however, the merging of its circulating and research libraries, which has led to downsizing, the closing of its esteemed Asian and Middle Eastern Divisions, and the diminished number of degreed librarians on staff, all of which give her pause. VERDICT This spirited book will be enjoyed by all who love libraries, or are poised to discover their value, but is likely to be most treasured by librarians and archivists seeking a celebration of their work.-Donna L. Davey, NYU Lib. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
"This is one of those books, in the vein of Mary Roach's Stiff, that tackle a big topic by taking [listeners] on a chapter-by-chapter tour of eccentric characters and unlikely locations." ---The New York Times