From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In an information age full of Google-powered searches, free-by-Bittorrent media downloads and Wiki-powered knowledge databases, the librarian may seem like an antiquated concept. Author and editor Johnson (The Dead Beat) is here to reverse that notion with a topical, witty study of the vital ways modern librarians uphold their traditional roles as educators, archivists, and curators of a community legacy. Illuminating the state of the modern librarian with humor and authority, Johnson showcases librarians working on the cutting edge of virtual reality simulations, guarding the Constitution and redefining information services-as well as working hard to serve and satisfy readers, making this volume a bit guilty of long-form reader flattery. Johnson also makes the important case for libraries-the brick-and-mortar kind-as an irreplaceable bridge crossing economic community divides. Johnson's wry report is a must-read for anyone who's used a library in the past quarter century.
As book lovers themselves, reviewers happily joined Johnson in librarian hero worship. They were consistently impressed by her enthusiasm for her subject and entertained by her anecdotes about the challenges librarians face on a daily basis. Opinions differed, however, over Johnson's idea that librarians will guide us to a new era of literacy online. No one doubted the valor of Johnson's "cybrarians," but some asked if she was sufficiently critical of the drawbacks of moving information online--from the decline in American attention spans to missing the smell of a good old-fashioned binding. Enjoy this book for its look at library culture, not for its prognostications.