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This Book Is Overdue
April 13, 2010 - 9:12pm

Hope you will consider joining me and reading This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, by Marilyn Johnson.

I'm about 50 pages into this love letter to librarians and their profession, and look forward to discussing what Johnson has to say with my academic librarian, faculty and computing colleagues.

How can you not love a book that contains the following quote about teaching and technology:

"….if any of us ever thought of teaching a class by standing in front of rows of students and lecturing, we should hop onto the next sled and roll off at the nearest tundra. Because the digital natives did not learn by being lectured to. They learned by collaborating, networking, sharing. They were not just consumers of information, literature, wisdom, history, all that good stuff - they saw themselves as creators, too." (page 27)

Yes, I know that the concept of "digital natives and digital immigrants" has largely been discredited (young people can be techno-conservatives, and our emeritus faculty sometimes take the biggest risks), but focus on the basic wisdom of the quote. The active learning paradigm has transitioned to the library world - or perhaps that is where it emerged?

All of us in higher ed are grappling with a world that is different from when we were college students ourselves. Each of us should be asking, if we were able to start from scratch and given 21st century technologies, what would we keep and what would we change about our institutions? Librarians, given their experience managing and succeeding in a world completely changed by technology, can help to show us all the way.

This is a book that I think librarians, technologists and faculty will enjoy - a book that will facilitate debate and discussion.

Now if someone would just write a book about learning technologists.


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