This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information by Kyle Cassidy

This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information

In 2014, author and photographer Kyle Cassidy published a photo essay on Slate.com called "This is What A Librarian Looks Like," a montage of portraits and a tribute to librarians. Since then, Cassidy has made it his mission to remind us of how essential librarians and libraries are to our communities. His subjects are men and women of all ages, backgrounds, and personal s...

Title:This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0316393983
Number of Pages:240 pages

This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information Reviews

  • Angela M

    How could I resist? I'm a retired Librarian and I just knew that I would love this tribute to the profession and and the wonderful contributions that librarians make to society. If you have an advanced digital copy like I was fortunate enough to get, do yourself a favor and read it on an IPad or better yet buy a copy so you can see the beautiful photographs of librarians from public libraries, university libraries, corporate libraries, school libraries.

    I love what Susan K. McClelland from Oak P

    How could I resist? I'm a retired Librarian and I just knew that I would love this tribute to the profession and and the wonderful contributions that librarians make to society. If you have an advanced digital copy like I was fortunate enough to get, do yourself a favor and read it on an IPad or better yet buy a copy so you can see the beautiful photographs of librarians from public libraries, university libraries, corporate libraries, school libraries.

    I love what Susan K. McClelland from Oak Park Public Library says , "Librarians are warrior princes and princesses wielding book love like swords." I was personally touched by Meridian Library Director Gretchen Caserotti's thoughts. "I was always a library kid. What drew me to my calling was the realization that stories can be consumed and created in many ways, and that technology is a powerful tool to do that." I was a library kid too, spending after school time and summer days there , thrilled at my first job at 16 as a "page" at the very same library where I was like a fixture. Although my career path led me to a corporate library, my heart will always be in that neighborhood library where I spent countless hours of bliss. John Jackson, a librarian at Loyola Marymount University says: "As a college librarian at a small institution, I have the opportunity to teach students to think critically, to think beyond their own experience, and put themselves in others' shoes."

    You'll find a bit of the history of libraries in the introduction, pictures and quotes from many librarians interspersed with thoughts from writers such as Neil Gaiman. He talks about the influence of public libraries and reminisces about the "magic" of interlibrary loans . Author Jude Deveraux brought me down memory lane remembering a school librarian handing over a copy of "The Borrowers" , a childhood favorite of mine as well. It wouldn't be a tribute unless it included a piece by Nancy Pearl , everyone's Librarian who contributes to NPR and written her notable "Book Lust" books.

    I highly recommended this to library lovers, to every reader actually. It will give you a greater appreciation of libraries and librarians and the importance of the profession as well as the institution. Every librarian should read it. It will make you feel even better about what you do.

    I received an advanced copy of this from Hackett with Books/Black Dog & Levanthal through NetGalley .

  • Erin Cataldi

    I will admit that I am a little partial to this book because I'm one of the librarians featured in it, BUT that is not the only reason by a long shot! Kyle Cassidy has done an insanely impressive job compiling the essence and passion of librarianship into one beautiful coffee table book. Over 300 librarians from all over the world are featured and all have a gorgeous photo accompanied by a quote or statement on what being a librarian means to the. Some are wordy and eloquent, some are moving, an

    I will admit that I am a little partial to this book because I'm one of the librarians featured in it, BUT that is not the only reason by a long shot! Kyle Cassidy has done an insanely impressive job compiling the essence and passion of librarianship into one beautiful coffee table book. Over 300 librarians from all over the world are featured and all have a gorgeous photo accompanied by a quote or statement on what being a librarian means to the. Some are wordy and eloquent, some are moving, and others are passionate pleas. Also included are mini essays from Kyle about different libraries and librarians, as well as essays from bestselling authors like Neil Gaiman John Scalzi, George R. R. Martin touting how libraries and librarians have helped their lives. A wonderful book that deserves a spot in very personal and public library. What an honor to have even been involved in this.

  • Bridget

    I've been dipping in and out of this lovely book for the last month or so. If any librarian on the planet was after quotes or ideas to explain exactly why they do what they do, then this book is just full of them.

    You get lots of perspective on li

    I've been dipping in and out of this lovely book for the last month or so. If any librarian on the planet was after quotes or ideas to explain exactly why they do what they do, then this book is just full of them.

    You get lots of perspective on libraries over time, how they were originally thought of by the ancients as well as historical figures who have been influential in the library world. From Alexandria to Benjamin Franklin and on through more recent times.

    There are wonderful essays from the likes of Neil Gaiman, Jeff Vandermeer and George RR Martin just to name a few. All lovely perspectives on their experiences of libraries throughout their lives and their thoughts on the future of libraries. I found some of these essays very moving and really rather lovely. Also, quite revealing, some of our most revered authors have had experiences in libraries which have strongly influenced their work.

    But then there are the beautiful photographs of librarians that the book is filled with. Each one has a quote from the subject of libraries, what they do in their libraries, who they work with and the new ways they serve their communities, all kinds of communities from prisons, hospitals, schools, companies and organisations of many kinds. The photos show how diverse the library community is and the comments by the librarians show the ways that needs are met despite challenges and how the role of libraries in communities of all kinds is growing and changing and adapting to technology and modern times.

    I found this book to be inspirational, it gave me so much to think about, often I would read the words of a librarian and have to stop and take pause to consider how I could apply their thoughts to my work. I think that the library community will treasure this work, I'm so glad that I read it. I'm sure I'll go back to it again and again, I fully intend to buy a print copy.

    Thanks so much to Netgalley for giving me access to this wonderful book.

  • PattyMacDotComma

    5★

    Mel Gooch of San Francisco Public Library claims:

    What a treat! A beautifully presented production that should be required reading for all public officials, civic leaders, and politicians. Teachers, parents and the general public already know how indispensable librarians are. I've added photos below.

    I remember seeing Ben Lexcen interviewed after his famous ‘winged keel’ took the “Australia II” to victory in the 1983 America’s Cup yacht race. (First l

    5★

    Mel Gooch of San Francisco Public Library claims:

    What a treat! A beautifully presented production that should be required reading for all public officials, civic leaders, and politicians. Teachers, parents and the general public already know how indispensable librarians are. I've added photos below.

    I remember seeing Ben Lexcen interviewed after his famous ‘winged keel’ took the “Australia II” to victory in the 1983 America’s Cup yacht race. (First loss by America in 132 years!) The interviewer asked how he knew how to design it because he had left school at 14.

    Ben replied that he had learned how to read . . . and he knew where the library was. He didn’t mention the librarians who helped him, but I’m sure they did.

    I loved this, from the introduction by the author, about the recession and budgets:

    Another library connects kids with parents who are in jail making DVDs of the parents reading stories and giving the DVDs to their kids. More recently, a library is arranging video-conferencing so parents and kids could read together I real time. Just great!

    There are articles by authors (

    and

    , among others) who grew up knowing the library as the place they felt at home and inspired. There are pictures of every kind, shape, age and colour of librarian and all are passionate about their calling.

    ALEA PEREZ, Head of Youth Services at Westmont Public Library says:

    They have what Google doesn’t . . . a way of figuring out what you want even when you aren’t sure yourself. I’ve always said the internet is like a giant library with all the books and papers strewn around the floor. Google might shuffle some of them into some sort of piles, but really, if you don’t know what you want, how will you know when you find it?

    Cory Doctorow said:

    Neil Gaiman wrote a lengthy piece in which he said

    Gaiman also wrote a passionate article for The Guardian you might enjoy. (Thanks to Cecily for the link to this in the comments below.)

    There is a well-argued case by Amy Dickinson for abolishing late fees for children’s books.

    Wonderful book. Wonderful photos! Thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Books for a copy for review.

  • Cheri

    I’m not a Librarian, but I spent much of my childhood in our town Library. There aren’t too many buildings from that town that I can still picture clearly, but the Library is at the top of that list. I grew up in a family of readers, and my parents always had our house filled with books – most of which were acquired through the Library, or courtesy of the annual Church Book Sale. I still have the “My Little Book House” book set that my mother bought for me at one of those book sales, too young t

    I’m not a Librarian, but I spent much of my childhood in our town Library. There aren’t too many buildings from that town that I can still picture clearly, but the Library is at the top of that list. I grew up in a family of readers, and my parents always had our house filled with books – most of which were acquired through the Library, or courtesy of the annual Church Book Sale. I still have the “My Little Book House” book set that my mother bought for me at one of those book sales, too young to walk on my own yet, let alone read on my own.

    I read this on my Nook and the photographs of all the librarians included from libraries from all over are wonderful, and different kinds of libraries, not just public libraries, school libraries – the ones we’re likely most familiar with.

    What these librarians have shared of their calling varies from person to person, and what their function is at their library.

    Assistant Librarian (LIBRARYTHING.com) KJ Gormley speaks to the absolute necessity of libraries in communities, the unseen services they provide:

    New Jersey Chapter Councillor, JP Porcaro (American Library Association Council) shares:

    That quote spoke to me since I consider both places sacred. Sacrosanct. Hallowed ground. Divine in purpose.

    All of the various insights into why these librarians chose their profession, what it still means to them, along with insights about libraries and librarians from such celebrated authors as Neil Gaiman and George R. R. Martin, and more.

    At the end of the day, the librarians of our lives, especially those from our childhood, or those that saw a special need we didn’t even know we had and handed us just the right book at just the right time, or maybe our local librarian today - they may be everyday heroes, but they are heroes nonetheless.

    Perhaps I wouldn’t have seen this book if I hadn’t happened upon my goodreads friend Angela’s marvelous review. I am so thankful to books like these, and Angela in particular for sharing her lovely review for such a wonderful, uplifting book. Thank you again, Angela!

    Recommended!

    Pub Date: 16 May 2017

    Many thanks for the ARC provided by Hachette Books / Black Dog & Leventhal

  • Toni

    An exceptional compilation of librarians and how they enrich our lives from childhood through every level of our education toward our path of adulthood, and never ever stop; thank goodness! My thank you to all the librarians in my life, and my children's lives that brought us the wonder of books. So powerful. I remember every square inch of my children's library where I grew up with love and awe to this day!

    Thank you Netgalley for the first peak. Thank you authors.

  • Heather

    First & foremost, thank you to NetGalley & Black Dog & Leventhal for a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

    This book was... okay. I've seen other reviews describe this as a good coffee table book and I absolutely agree with those assessments.

    The blurbs from each of the librarians were worded differently but basically all meant the same thing. Libraries are vital to communities and provide unlimited access to a myriad of services. I completely agree with that. It was exhaus

    First & foremost, thank you to NetGalley & Black Dog & Leventhal for a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

    This book was... okay. I've seen other reviews describe this as a good coffee table book and I absolutely agree with those assessments.

    The blurbs from each of the librarians were worded differently but basically all meant the same thing. Libraries are vital to communities and provide unlimited access to a myriad of services. I completely agree with that. It was exhausting to re-read that message over and over again.

    The longer excerpts regarding the history of libraries was interesting and eye opening but sometimes long and drawn out and I felt some of the information didn't pertain to the point.

    Lastly, the digital versions format is terrible and I really wish the pictures of the librarians were not just better quality, but I really found myself wanting their portraits to portray them individually, and I didn't feel like that was the case.

    I've loved the library since I was a child and I go at least once a week now. I've instilled in my young child a love of reading and library visits, and the librarians are wonderful people who encourage that love for him. The work of librarians it detrimental and they are sources of vast and unending knowledge. While I appreciate that, I'm just not sure this book executed in pushing that message forward as well as it could have.

  • Brina

    From as early as I can remember, I frequented my local library. At age three I was mesmerized by a blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling of the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History, so my mother took me to the Ray Bradbury Public Library to get book after book about whales and dolphins, fostering my life long love of both marine biology and libraries. Whether it was earning my first Cubs tickets through a summer reading program or putting up a yard sign declaring that my kids are lib

    From as early as I can remember, I frequented my local library. At age three I was mesmerized by a blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling of the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History, so my mother took me to the Ray Bradbury Public Library to get book after book about whales and dolphins, fostering my life long love of both marine biology and libraries. Whether it was earning my first Cubs tickets through a summer reading program or putting up a yard sign declaring that my kids are library all stars, libraries hold many positive memories for me. Yet, libraries would not be what they are for myself and countless others if it were not for the hundreds of thousands of librarians who make the library accessible to its patrons. When I saw reviews of

    's new book

    , I knew that it was a book that piqued my interest. In a book that is a compilation of history, guest essays, and photojournalism, Cassidy takes his readers inside the daily eye opening world of librarians and the buildings where they bring reading to life.

    Cassidy first published a photo essay in Slate Magazine three years ago featuring thirty librarians from around the United States and what being a librarian in the 21st century means to them. His project reached new heights, however, when American Librarian Association employee Naomi Gonzalez (who is featured in this book) saw the essay and invited Cassidy to an ALA convention. Cassidy would attend the next three conventions, photographing over 300 librarians from all walks of life, asking them to describe their job. The photographs reveal people who look like they love their job, whether it is working with children, teenagers, non native speakers, rural, or urban communities. Each librarian brings a unique perspective to the table and appears to be someone who makes a trip to the library a complete joy for the public. All these librarians are advocates for their communities and should be revered for the tireless work they do to bring the world to life.

    Cassidy accompanies the photographs with essays about the history of libraries from the Great Library in Alexandria and

    's early libraries to the Lewis and Clark Mobile Library in Montana and the Franklin, Wisconsin Public Library. In all cases, the library becomes an equalizer and necessary in a democratic society in that regardless of one's economic standing, he can access books, the internet, and all other programs and services provided free of charge. I especially liked the story of Briony Beckstrom's American Girl Doll lending program in Franklin, Wisconsin and Mary Anne Antonellis' kayak program in Shutesbury, Massachusetts. These programs show that libraries are more than books and cater to people from all walks of life; in essence, they are a gateway to the world.

    As the world becomes more digitalized, libraries are more necessary than ever as librarians help their patrons navigate the endless information on the World Wide Web. Cassidy asks famous authors such as

    ,

    , and

    to give their reflections of libraries, and all shared happy early memories, which, like mine, fostered a lifetime love of reading. All agree that libraries are still essential parts of society as not everyone can afford to buy books, pay for internet access or movies, and use the library for a multitude of programs. Martin goes so far as to donate his new books to his local library, saving his branch the expense of purchasing them, using the funds to buy other books for their collection. Who better than to promote libraries and libraries than these gifted authors who learned that reading was fun from visiting the library as children and having devoted librarians assist them along the way.

    In high school I spent my free period working in the school library. Whether it was shelving or copying I truly enjoyed my work. I often think that I should go back an earn a library science degree because at this point in my life with all the reading I do, what I know best is my local library and it's welcoming librarians. As the librarians featured on these pages say, the library is not obsolete and as time moves forward becomes even more necessary for society to function. Librarian Susan McClelland says it best when she notes that "Librarians are warrior princes and princesses wielding book love swords!" Perhaps one day I will join their ranks. Kyle Cassidy has created a book that was a pure joy to read, and one that I will gladly rate 5 stars.

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