Synopses & Reviews
Buried in info? Cross-eyed over technology? From the bottom of a pile of paper, disks, books, e-books, and scattered thumb drives comes a cry of hope: Make way for the librarians—they can help!
Those who predicted the death of libraries forgot to consider that, in the automated maze of contemporary life, none of us—expert and hopelessly baffled alike—can get along without human help. And not just any help: we need librarians, the only ones who can save us from being buried by the digital age. This Book Is Overdue! is a romp through the ranks of information professionals—from the blunt and obscenely funny bloggers to the quiet, law-abiding librarians gagged by the FBI. These are the 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.
“Johnson does for the library profession what Malcolm Gladwell did for the theory of memetics in The Tipping Point.” Nora Rawlinson, The Tipping Point
“To those who have imagined a dalliance with a librarian--and there are millions of us--Marilyn Johnsons new book, chocked as it is full of strange, compelling stories, offers insight into the wildness behind the orderly facade of the humans who are at the controls of our information.” Pete Dexter, author of Paris Trout and Spooner
“Johnson has made her way to the secret underbelly of librarianship, and the result is both amazing and delightful. Savvy, brave, hip, brilliant, these are not your childhood librarians. And who better to tell their stories than the sly, wise Marilyn Johnson.” Mary Roach, author of Bonk
“This is a book for readers who know that words can be wild and dangerous, that uncensored access to information is a right and a privilege, and that the attempt to ‘catalog the world in all its complexity is heroic beyond compare.” O, The Oprah Magazine
“Topical, witty.... Johnsons wry report is a must-read for anyone whos used a library in the past quarter century.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Marilyn Johnsonss marvelous book about the vital importance of librarians in the cyber age is the very opposite of a ‘Shhhhh! Its a very loud ‘Hooray! ever so timely and altogether deserved. Move over, Google--make way for the indispensable and all-knowing lady behind the desk.” Christopher Buckley, author of Losin g Mum and Pup
About the Author
Marilyn Johnson is the author of Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble (Harper, 2014), and two other works of non-fiction, The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries (Harper Perennial, 2007) and This Book Is Overdue! How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All (Harper Perennial, 2011). The Dead Beat, a bestseller, was chosen as a Border's Original Voice and was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, and both The Dead Beat and This Book Is Overdue! received Washington Irving Book Awards. Lives in Ruins is a Libraryread's best book for November 2014, and one of Publishers Weekly's 100 Best Books of 2014. Johnson, a former editor and writer for Life, Esquire, and Outside magazines, lives with her husband, Rob Fleder, in New York's Hudson Valley.