Thursday, August 13, 2015

Book Review: "BiblioTECH: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google" by John Palfrey

I cannot for the life of me remember where I discovered this title, but I am so glad I did.  As a librarian, and a recent library school graduate - everything in this book resonated with me.  EVERYTHING.  So much so that when just a few chapters in, I made a point of recommending this book to my Library Director.  She then told me that she just got it on a book list supplied by Maureen Sullivan (former President of American Library Association) for one of the professional groups of which she is a member.

While I was discussing this book with my Director, I really started thinking that this should be recommended (strongly) to library Trustees and other stakeholders - in particular, all of those in government positions that have any affect at all upon funding libraries, from local to state to federal.  Library staff would gain a lot from reading this.... as well as any of those people who think that libraries are dying out or becoming less important in the digital age.

Palfrey has a unique perspective for this book.  He is the founding chairman of the Digital Public Library of America, the current Head of School at Phillips Academy and the former library director of Harvard Law Library, but is not nor has he ever been a librarian.  But he gets it.  He understands this, and uses his outside professional knowledge and experiences to break down exactly why libraries are so important and gives his opinion on how to move forward in this digital age.  He highlights several innovative librarians and library systems as examples of progress being made in the profession.  There is also an extensive section of notes which expand on specific points and examples he is making as well as a huge bibliography for further reading!   He writes in a very accessible manner too - there is a bit of library jargon but most of it is defined in lay terms, so that this can be easily enjoyed by anyone - librarian or not.
BiblioTECH:  Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google
by John Palfrey
Basic Books, 2015
280 pages
Source:  Library (of course!)



Matthew Selwyn said...

Looks right up my street.

Jean said...

Clearly I need this book. Well, what I actually need to do is buy copies for the entire county and city councils!

Sarah Reads Too Much said...


Emily said...

Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I work in a academic library and this sounds like the kind of book I need to force on, I mean recommend to, a few folks! :)

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