Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Booknote: Last One Out Turn Off the Lights

Cleyle, Susan E. and Louise M. McGillis. Last One Out Turn Off the Lights: Is This the Future of American and Canadian Libraries? Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2005.

ISBN: 0-8108-5192-X
Genre: Nonfiction
Subgenre: Library Science

This is a collection of essays that looks at the state and future of librarianship. The essays range in topic from libraries and the Internet to involvement in library associations. The book is divided into five parts with three or four essays per section. Since it is a collection, readers can read it in order, or do what I did, which was skip around and read what seemed interesting to me. Personally, the essays I was interested in were the one on blogs by Amanda Etches-Johnson and the one about a new librarian looking at library associations by Gillian Byrne. In fact, Byrne's essay resonated with me given my strong ambivalence over being involved with a library association let alone pay dues to some national organization that is far away and run by elites with institutional support (mostly). That my academic colleagues have to belong in order to get tenure, and as result often get involved out of that Damocles's sword rather than out of dedication is a reason that makes me glad I am not on a tenure line. But I am not going to rant here over something that is pretty much fixed in stone. Overall, the book offers a good selection of essays on the theme of libraries and their future: are they still relevant, or is it time to turn the lights out for them?

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