THIS IS WHAT A LIBRARIAN LOOKS LIKE -- photos of 220 librarians and their thoughts on what it means to be a librarian
This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access To Information by Kyle Cassidy (2017, Black Dog & Leventhal; 240 pages)
I’ll admit the title of this book caused a knee-jerk groan and a sense of apprehension before opening it. I feared the book would be full of cliché images – not so much of elderly women in cardigans & glasses – but fear of pink spiky hair and Dewey Decimal tattoos aimed to destroy the traditional stereotype. Thankfully, this book has a little of both but much more, and functions as a good reminder to not judge a book by its cover.
Cassidy’s book features images and quotes from 200 librarians and aspiring librarians from across the country. The featured individuals are diverse, both as people and profession covering all aspects of librarianship and American culture. Sure, some of the clichés are here but it would be censoring an aspect of librarianship if they weren’t and censorship is very unbecoming for librarians.
Although one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the librarian’s choice of how to present themselves for this book is acceptable to judge. Most photos are professional headshots, especially from those in management positions, but plenty of humor is included too, such as the card catalog shirt worn by Jennifer Snoek-Brown of Tacoma Community College that reads, ‘Never Forget.’
Much more interesting than the visual representation of librarianship is the quote with the corresponding photos. The book can be a quick read, but reading 200 single-sentence explanations of what librarianship means is a lot to process. The key takeaways are libraries are more than books and librarians are expected to provide professional service to every member of our society. The other detail that jumps out is the passion and dedication to the work as exemplified by Nicola McDonald of New York Public Library, who says, ‘I like my job because I get to make a positive impact in people’s lives every day!’
Find this title in our catalog: This Is What a Librarian Looks Like
Recommended by: Andrew