This Is What a Librarian Looks Like
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 style-from pink hair and leather jackets to button-downs and blazers. In short, not necessarily what one thinks a librarian looks like. The nearly 220 librarians photographed also share their personal thoughts on what it means to be a librarian. This is What A Librarian Looks Like also includes original essay by some of our most beloved writers, journalists, and commentators including Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Nancy Pearl, Cory Doctorow, Paula Poundstone, Amanda Palmer, Peter Sagal, Jeff VanderMeer, John Scalzi, Sara Farizan, Amy Dickinson, and others. Cassidy also profiles a handful of especially influential librarians and libraries.

This Is What a Librarian Looks Like Details

TitleThis Is What a Librarian Looks Like
Author
ReleaseMay 16th, 2017
PublisherBlack Dog & Leventhal
ISBN-139780316393980
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Writing, Books About Books, Art, Photography, Essays

This Is What a Librarian Looks Like Review

  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    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 .
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  • Brina
    January 1, 1970
    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 Kyle Cassidy's new book This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information, 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 Benjamin Franklin'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 Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, and Paula Poundstone 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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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    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: ”If the library shut down tomorrow in my tiny Maine town of two thousand people, people would actually freeze. The GED program wouldn’t have a home, kids would be left to wander on Main Street until 5 p.m., shut-ins would lack a weekly visit with books, and any programs relating to the literacy, at any level, would cease. A good one-quarter of the town would have no access to the Internet. So, not nice things.”New Jersey Chapter Councillor, JP Porcaro (American Library Association Council) shares: “The best quote I found about libraries is actually by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. He says, ‘When you’re growing up there are two institutional places that effect you most powerfully: the church which belongs to God and the public library which belongs to you.” 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. ”This isn’t a book about America’s most significant libraries; it’s a book about everyday libraries doing everyday work. They’re just drops of rain in a thunderstorm, but together they work to make the ground fertile.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! https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...Recommended!Pub Date: 16 May 2017Many thanks for the ARC provided by Hachette Books / Black Dog & Leventhal
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  • PattyMacDotComma
    January 1, 1970
    5★Mel Gooch of San Francisco Public Library claims: “Librarians are the ultimate search ninjas.”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: “Librarians are the ultimate search ninjas.”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:“In 2009, in my own city of Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter announced his “doomsday budget,” which caused the Philadelphia Free Library System to announce that it was going to close every single branch. Director Siobhan Reardon posted a memo at each library, listing the services that would no longer be available when the doors closed: programs for children and teens, after-school programs, computer classes, programs to support small businesses and job seekers, visits from day care, community, and senior centers, community meetings, GED, ABE, and English as a Second Language programs as well as borrowing books. Turns out that the one thing people thought libraries did, loaning books, was just a part of a vast array of services being provided for the two million people in the Greater Philadelphia area. People in the city freaked out, in the grabbing-their-hair-and-spinning-around-in-circles sort of way. People who hadn’t been to a library in twenty years as well as well-known writers such as novelist Cory Doctorow bombarded representatives with pleas to save the libraries. With less than two weeks to go before the libraries were to begin shutting down, the state senate voted 32–17 to provide funding.” 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 (Cory Doctorow and Neil Gaiman, 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: “Impassioned librarians are a force to be reckoned with. We have the curiosity of a scientist, the work ethic of a teacher, the creativity of an artist, and the ferocity of a prize fighter. We are so much more than Google."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: “The major life-skill of the information age is information literacy, and no one’s better at that than librarians. It’s what they train for. It’s what they live for.”Neil Gaiman wrote a lengthy piece in which he said“The entirety of human history is characterized by the hunt for information, as if we’re searching for a flower in the desert. In today’s world of information overload and 24/7 news, we are still looking for that flower, but now we’re looking for the flower in a jungle. The jungle may be writhing with poisonous snakes, or something that looks like the flower you’re looking for may not be a flower at all, but actually something quite dangerous or fake. It’s a whole weird world. I, for one, am grateful for librarians who can lead out ahead of us into the jungle in our search for our flowers of information.”Gaiman also wrote a passionate article for The Guardian you might enjoy. (Thanks to Cecily for the link to this in the comments below.) https://www.theguardian.com/books/201... There is a well-argued case by Amy Dickinson for abolishing late fees for children’s books. “Late fees are the enemy of early literacy because instead of promoting responsible behavior, they suppress library visits for some of the people who need the institution the most. And of course these fees don’t promote children being more responsible, but only reveal to children how irresponsible, ignorant, or unaware their own parents are.. . . Families should not be assessed late fees for children’s books—instead the library should adopt the technique successfully used by Netflix for DVD rental: When children turn books in, they can take new books back out.”Wonderful book. Wonderful photos! Thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Books for a copy for review.
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  • Erin Cataldi
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Toni
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    "The best quote about libraries is actually by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. He says, 'When you're growing up there are two institutional places that effect you most powerfully: the church which belongs to God and the public library which belongs to you." ~J.P. Porcaro; New Jersey Chapter Councillor, American Library Association.Vast and varied are the librarians, leaders, and educators featured in the oversized pages of this photo-essay anthology - each sharing their personal testimonie "The best quote about libraries is actually by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. He says, 'When you're growing up there are two institutional places that effect you most powerfully: the church which belongs to God and the public library which belongs to you." ~J.P. Porcaro; New Jersey Chapter Councillor, American Library Association.Vast and varied are the librarians, leaders, and educators featured in the oversized pages of this photo-essay anthology - each sharing their personal testimonies, quotes, quips, experiences, and/or statistical evidence praising the many invaluable merits of libraries. And it is awe inspiring. "During the Dark Ages, the monks in Ireland copied and preserved much of the knowledge of Europe and are credited with saving Western Civilization. Today, with instant information and instant deletion, librarians are now the Irish Monks." ~ Deborah Mongeau; Chair of Public Services, University of Rhode Libraries.I absolutely LOVE working as a volunteer for the San Diego County Library System. For I have a deep abiding respect and appreciation for public libraries, and have had since I was a young girl. Not only did my passion for reading grow out of library books, my sense of civic pride, community commraderie, thirst for knowledge, empathy for others, and skill sets not financially feasible otherwise were (and still are) derived from those hallowed halls. "Libraries provide a community gathering place with resources, information, entertainment, and socializing for no commercial payoff. Our pay is a healthy literate society." ~ Sara Sunshine Holloway; Teen Services Librarian, Tacoma Public Library.Sadly though, not everyone understands the priceless value of libraries. Some people mistakenly think they are merely book depositories and rarely utilized - a waste of federal money. Others think bound books are antiqued, replaceable by electrical devises therefore irrelevant. Neither hold water. At least not to the hundreds of thousands of people who regularly utilize public libraries in the betterment of their lives. Many people - young and old - wouldn't have access to information, reading material, electronic materials, educational materials, entertainment venues, meeting spaces, socialization, medical information, computers and technology assistance, veterans assistance - if not for FREE public Libraries. News flash: not everyone can afford books or personal computers or Netflix or iPods. To limit their access to literacy, knowledge, social connections, and other skill sets and resources the affluent takes for granted, handicaps us all. "You may be thinking that a twelve-year-old boy who can't read is not the end of the world, but that boy will grow into a man not literate enough to function or contribute to society. Reading doesn't only give one knowledge and skills; it helps develop empathy, and without empathy one is much more easily manipulated, by demagogues or politicians playing to fears and feeding a lie, which cannot be verified without access to information or the ability to read. Depriving our communities of libraries will deprive our society of its ability to survive." ~ Neil Gaiman, author.FIVE ***** Infinitely Priceless: Knowledge is Power and Should Always Remain Free For All to Seek via Public Libraries ***** STARS
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Bridget
    January 1, 1970
    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.What changes a collection of books into something useful is a librarian: a curator, an indexer, a manager, a gardener who knows what to cut back, what to add, what to highlight, and, most of all, what the community around them needs to grow as a society.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.What changes a collection of books into something useful is a librarian: a curator, an indexer, a manager, a gardener who knows what to cut back, what to add, what to highlight, and, most of all, what the community around them needs to grow as a society.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.Tyrion in particular says that books are a weapon. As a sword needs a whetstone to keep it sharp, a mind needs books, and his mind is his weaponThere 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.
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  • Leslie Reese
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsSpecial place in my heart for librarians and libraries, and this book articulates reasons why beyond my personal memories and experiences....
  • Patricia
    January 1, 1970
    The many libraries and librarians featured in this book made me especially proud to be a member of this amazing profession! Libraries are conduits to connection, learning, training, entertainment, answers and much more. They serve everyone. Whether or not you choose to use them, they provide tangible benefits to our society by giving all a chance to widen their horizons.
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  • Caron
    January 1, 1970
    This review can also be found on my blog at: https://diminishingthoughts.wordpress...I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I took way longer than necessary to finish this book. What attracted me to this book was the fact that it celebrated Libraries and Librarians and I’d never seen a book like this before so I wanted to find out what these Librarians said about the profession I want to go into one day.Kyle Cassidy put together pictures, quotes, co This review can also be found on my blog at: https://diminishingthoughts.wordpress...I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I took way longer than necessary to finish this book. What attracted me to this book was the fact that it celebrated Libraries and Librarians and I’d never seen a book like this before so I wanted to find out what these Librarians said about the profession I want to go into one day.Kyle Cassidy put together pictures, quotes, conversations with authors (I only recognised two- Neil Gaiman and G.R.R. Martin) and stories from different people about how the library shaped or changed their life. Many of these stories spoke about the library being this fantastical place that you walk past everyday but you don’t notice it unless 1. you’re looking for it or 2. you’re lost and just happened to find yourself at the doors.I feel like Cassidy did this book justice. He worked years on it to make it what it is and I’m honestly very impressed with it. I’m not sure if I’d ever read this book again but I want to own a hardcopy of it so it can be on display in my personal library. If people ask me what’s so great about libraries, why be a librarian? I’d like to give them this book as an answer and explanation all in one.One of my favourite quotes in this book is pictured below:Susan K. McClelland says: “Librarians are warrior princes and princesses wielding book love like swords! We are ever vigilant, curious, intelligent, and kind. Libraries are the banners that we carry proudly into the fray! Forward, ever forward!”I like that. I love that she says librarians are warriors. I want to be a warrior princess one day too. Imagine if my kids went to school and on career day they ask them what their mom is and they reply: a warrior princess.As I read each page of this book I found out so much I didn’t know. I learnt with each new story and I felt this huge surge of pride rush through me because this! This is what I aspire to become one day. I want to pass on the fact that knowledge is power, knowledge can be found in books and libraries hold more than just those books. The amount of things that libraries and librarians do for us is so widely spread that you won’t know what you have until it’s not there anymore.G.R.R. Martin on why certain characters (in his books) appear to be around libraries more than others: “Well, Tyrion in particular says that books are a weapon. As a sword needs a whetstone to keep it sharp, a mind needs books, and his mind is his weapon. He has no physical prowess in a world that values and esteems physical prowess above all, so he has to fight the knights and the lords with his mind. And books are a way to keep the mind sharp, keep the mind flexible, test yourself against other voices, other ideas, and learn things. Because you ever know what you’re going to need to know in some future time.”This book made me want to visit my childhood library and hug all the librarians and thank them for existing. I hope that one day I can be even a small fraction of what they are. Thank you librarians!Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad
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  • Sarah Rosenberger
    January 1, 1970
    A feel-good celebration for librarians and the folks that love them.
  • Bastian Greshake Tzovaras
    January 1, 1970
    I now want to start an alternative career as a librarian. 💖😍
  • Andreea (Infinite Text)
    January 1, 1970
    Kyle Cassidy published a photo essay on Slate in 2014 called “This is What A Librarian Looks Like,” a montage of portraits and a tribute to librarians. The essay had success and spread widely through social media. Cassidy expanded this project into what is now the new-coming book This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information.The book has three components:1. Brief essays on the history of the American Library2. Photographs of contemporary Kyle Cassidy published a photo essay on Slate in 2014 called “This is What A Librarian Looks Like,” a montage of portraits and a tribute to librarians. The essay had success and spread widely through social media. Cassidy expanded this project into what is now the new-coming book This Is What a Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information.The book has three components:1. Brief essays on the history of the American Library2. Photographs of contemporary American Librarians3. Essays by writers, journalists, and commentators including Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Nancy Pearl, Cory Doctorow, Jeff VanderMeer, and others who discuss what the library means to them now, and what memories they have of the library from their childhood and/or youth.I really enjoyed this book with all its components, however, as a reader and librarian I was much more interested in the essays written by authors and the history parts. I wish they were longer. Some author interviews were only a paragraph long. For 220 images of librarians to fit in this large book, expect a coffee-table-style book. I understand the political undertones, specifically the one I mentioned above, where this book aims to put a face to the community of librarians in America for Congress, but as a physical codex, the book will become immediately dated because of the abundance of contemporary photographs. On the other hand, the same component makes it somewhat unique to preserving the ‘here and now.’ I would urge the reader to look at this book first and foremost as an art/photography book, where the histories and author essays are the supplements for the images, not the other way around as is usually the case. Nonetheless, the book advertises itself as a celebration of libraries and librarians, and in that respect, it has succeeded.In terms of librarians photographed, this book is America-centric. Though the librarians are multicultural and diverse, the workplaces of the librarians photographed are mostly in the United States covering an array of public libraries, special collections, school libraries, and academic libraries. The authors interviewed are American, Canadian, and British. Overall this book focuses on the Western experience of the library.I recommend this book to anyone interested in libraries, photography, and who has enjoyed blogs/books like Humans of New York which focus on individuals with an excerpt on what they do, and what they enjoy. I especially recommend this book to Congress.
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    I accidently got a NetGalley copy of this. I clicked on an ad in a Book Reviewer Newsletter that I get and it took me to the book's NetGalley page. Now, usually when this happens it gives you the option to request it or 'read it now'. In this case, however, it took it upon itself to invite me and now I must read it to keep up my NetGalley review ratio. It does seem interesting; I just wasn't ready to download another NetGalley yet.UPDATE:This book was divided into sections; there would be a numb I accidently got a NetGalley copy of this. I clicked on an ad in a Book Reviewer Newsletter that I get and it took me to the book's NetGalley page. Now, usually when this happens it gives you the option to request it or 'read it now'. In this case, however, it took it upon itself to invite me and now I must read it to keep up my NetGalley review ratio. It does seem interesting; I just wasn't ready to download another NetGalley yet.UPDATE:This book was divided into sections; there would be a number of quotes from librarians on why they loved their work, followed by a longer passage telling about the history of a library or a special program being run somewhere in the country.Some of these larger sections I was interested in, such as the one written by a librarian who began an American Girl Doll lending program at her library. I did enjoy learning from many of these sections, and seeing ways that libraries were used other than for simply loaning books.The short sections accompanying the picture of a librarian, telling why the person featured in the image loved their job, weren't as interesting to me. Some I found more intriguing than others. Though they all were phrased differently, the few concept behind them all remained the same. However, it isn't the author's fault that librarians tend to all love their jobs for similar reasons.The formatting of this book did not translate well into digital form. Some images were small, some took up a while page, some were upside down, and some of the wording faded into a light grey on certain pages. However, in a physical form the book's visual appeal would be much stronger, especially considering all the beautiful images of people, something that I consider to be a highlight of this book.I would call this more of a coffee table book; something that you would flip through to find a short section that interested you, or that would interest your guests.It wass interesting to read some of the history behind libraries, and look at the images, but isn't likely that you are going to want to read this book all at once.
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  • Clarissa
    January 1, 1970
    "Librarians are warrior princes and princesses wielding book love like swords! We are vigilant, curious, intelligent, and kind. Libraries are the banners that we carry proudly into the fray! Forward, ever forward!" - Susan K. McClellandThis is a really beautiful tribute to libraries and librarians everywhere. Yes, it's a bit repetitive at times but that's because the message is an important one.Libraries can be many things to many people: a research space, study area, refuge, etc. It is free edu "Librarians are warrior princes and princesses wielding book love like swords! We are vigilant, curious, intelligent, and kind. Libraries are the banners that we carry proudly into the fray! Forward, ever forward!" - Susan K. McClellandThis is a really beautiful tribute to libraries and librarians everywhere. Yes, it's a bit repetitive at times but that's because the message is an important one.Libraries can be many things to many people: a research space, study area, refuge, etc. It is free education or simply a way to discover new places. This book does a great job at demonstrating that as well as showcasing both the similarities and diversity of libraries everywhere.
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  • Kathryn
    January 1, 1970
    I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. The idea behind this book is great, but the format of it as an e-book has a lot to be desired. This would be much better as a physical coffee table book. It was awful in regards to formatting on my actual Kindle e-reader, but somewhat better on my phone app and I'm guessing even better on a Kindle Fire. The author spoke with hundreds of librarians and Library Science students, as well as some authors and printed excerpts, qu I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. The idea behind this book is great, but the format of it as an e-book has a lot to be desired. This would be much better as a physical coffee table book. It was awful in regards to formatting on my actual Kindle e-reader, but somewhat better on my phone app and I'm guessing even better on a Kindle Fire. The author spoke with hundreds of librarians and Library Science students, as well as some authors and printed excerpts, quotes and essays. The print fluctuated from crisp and clear print to very light, hard-to-read fonts on a semi-dark background. Some of the essays were interesting, especially when authors or librarians talked about childhood memories of the library and how it shaped their lives. Also, most of the quotes, excepts, and essays were accompanied by photos, but it was often difficult to sometimes determine who was being matched up with whom. At times, the only way, it was decipherable were in the cases where you could determine which name and photo went together based on their gender or ethnicity. Overall, I did like the book, but reading it in a physical format would have worked better and hopefully in the final published version, photographs will be clearly labeled.
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  • Katherine
    January 1, 1970
    The stories in this book testify, over and over, to the importance of the Library as a great equaliser that serves every person and group and enables democratic access to knowledge, citizenship, and community. This I knew, and appreciated hearing from so many different voices, but what particularly struck me was a sentiment expressed by Daniel Ronsom, Institutional Services Librarian at the California College of the Arts (p. 174), and echoed by others throughout.The greatest challenge libraries The stories in this book testify, over and over, to the importance of the Library as a great equaliser that serves every person and group and enables democratic access to knowledge, citizenship, and community. This I knew, and appreciated hearing from so many different voices, but what particularly struck me was a sentiment expressed by Daniel Ronsom, Institutional Services Librarian at the California College of the Arts (p. 174), and echoed by others throughout.The greatest challenge libraries are facing is the apathy of the privileged. Libraries are busier than ever before, but then someone writes a 'think piece' stating that 'libraries are dead' and politicians cite it when slashing the library budgets. It's what actually happened to the Great Library of Alexandria. Yes, it was damaged by fires, but contrary to popular conceptions that's not what destroyed it. In fact, it was time and the apathy of its leadership that led to its slow decline. We can't let the apathy of today's leadership have the same disastrous effects on the libraries of today.Libraries are crucial to a community, especially for marginalised and underserved groups. Many of the services are public and free, which is hugely important for people who don't have other resources. In the book, a few of the authors write about how they don't have the need to or habit of going to their library and using the services there, but they still make a point of giving back to their library, because they know it benefits people who depend on it everyday. This is a great point that I had never consciously thought of before. I love libraries and books, and do often check out books, but with access to and familiarity with technology, it is much easier to look up information, read content on the internet or on a device, or even to figure out questions through online resources than it is to do those things physically or with a librarian. I assume most of my peers and much of my generation have the same experience. Bluntly speaking, we may not typically feel the need for libraries, librarians, or their services. However, Daniel Ronsom and a few others in the book challenge this viewpoint, suggesting that me and my peers are people who have the privilege of not needing or depending on libraries, but we thus have a responsibility to support the maintenance and development of libraries for those in our communities for whom libraries are crucial.An wonderful book of wonderful people, and I am now convinced that libraries are the best institution there is.
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  • Jose
    January 1, 1970
    I never knew librarians did so much! Thank you librarians!In a digital age, libraries are even more important and relevant than ever. They provide valuable services to people of all backgrounds for free (mostly), and librarians are willing to go to great lengths to provide people with these services. They are fighters. I've never felt so proud to have such easy access to a library! We must work together as society to preserve an institution that is one of the foundations of the nation and democr I never knew librarians did so much! Thank you librarians!In a digital age, libraries are even more important and relevant than ever. They provide valuable services to people of all backgrounds for free (mostly), and librarians are willing to go to great lengths to provide people with these services. They are fighters. I've never felt so proud to have such easy access to a library! We must work together as society to preserve an institution that is one of the foundations of the nation and democracy as we know it. Defending it means fighting apathy and ignorance. Not easy! But we can do it, especially with the passionate and resilient librarians we have leading the way.The book is a bit repetitive, and there are a few typos, but the book's message is important. It is for the everyman, not for those interested in learning more about the library sciences, per se.
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    Of course I'm going to like a book about librarians... although I guess you call it 'preaching to the choir' ... so many interesting people and types ... hmm.. only three from Indiana though..haha...This proves that libraries AND librarians are Not or Will Not be obsolete... and then to hear that IPS celebrated a media specialist as Teacher of the Year! I hope school systems who are rethinking the role of their librarians take note...Cheers to Libraries and Librarians!!
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    In these dark times, when assaults on our freedoms are happening daily, it gave me hope to read these brief photographic portraits of librarians. The message of the book is clear: libraries are essential to a free society. Support your libraries and librarians!
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  • Kris Patrick
    January 1, 1970
    It soothed my professional self-esteem, which was in itty bitty pieces about mid-May.Exciting to see TIWALLL feature a friend from graduate school. Hi, Candice!!! Keep up the amazing work at LAPL. Beautiful photo of you!
  • Megan (ReadingRover)
    January 1, 1970
    Wonderful book celebrating librarians from all over the country and the need we have for books, information and a sense of community.
  • Jennifer Bacall
    January 1, 1970
    With an assortment of photographs, essays and quotes this book gives faces and voices to some of the millions of Americans who work at, run and utilize our libraries. The book features public, private, academic and every other kind of library one can imagine.The concept of the book occurred to author Kyle Cassidy after he worked on a story about librarians for Slate Magazine in 2014. He became fascinated by the range of personalities, talents and passions of the people who spend their lives prov With an assortment of photographs, essays and quotes this book gives faces and voices to some of the millions of Americans who work at, run and utilize our libraries. The book features public, private, academic and every other kind of library one can imagine.The concept of the book occurred to author Kyle Cassidy after he worked on a story about librarians for Slate Magazine in 2014. He became fascinated by the range of personalities, talents and passions of the people who spend their lives providing information and service to their communities.Cassidy catches a humor and humanity to the subjects that he photographs. Each photo is also accompanied with a brief quote from the subject, or a description of what they do, and where they work.What really makes the book special is the assortment of stories and articles from some of the most famous writers, journalists, and commentators working today. Authors include: Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Nancy Pearl, Cory Doctorow, Paula Poundstone, Amanda Palmer, Peter Sagal, Jeff VanderMeer, Sara Farizan and others.More than just a boost to those in the field, this also serves as an interesting sociological look at the diversity and drive of the people who choose to dedicate their lives to the collection, protection and dissemination of information.
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  • Alex Reborn
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed reading a book about books and librarians, and it inspired me to visit the library more. There are things in common among the librarians, which is not unusual at all. I enjoyed the short essays throughout the book, because they enriched the content and developed certain ideas. It was a good book and I do believe that librarians have a certain kind of power that has the potential to change the world, so it should be used wisely and with caution! I would go as far as to say it's a callin I enjoyed reading a book about books and librarians, and it inspired me to visit the library more. There are things in common among the librarians, which is not unusual at all. I enjoyed the short essays throughout the book, because they enriched the content and developed certain ideas. It was a good book and I do believe that librarians have a certain kind of power that has the potential to change the world, so it should be used wisely and with caution! I would go as far as to say it's a calling.I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Keeley
    January 1, 1970
    I had never heard of the author's original librarian photo montage, but enjoyed flipping through this book filled with photos of and thoughts from librarians across the country. Librarians connect people to all sorts of information and are essential to learning. A great ode to the library, probably my favorite place in the world!Thanks to NetGalley for the digital ARC.
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  • Schizanthus
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't think I could have any more admiration for the work librarians do, but that was before I read this book. This Is What a Librarian Looks Like is a celebration of the unsung superheroes of the literary world. They are the keepers of knowledge, protectors of words, and walking and talking book recommending extraordinaires! I'm sure they get their superpowers from inhaling the smell of new books. They perform surgical procedures second to none repairing stories that have been loved to piece I didn't think I could have any more admiration for the work librarians do, but that was before I read this book. This Is What a Librarian Looks Like is a celebration of the unsung superheroes of the literary world. They are the keepers of knowledge, protectors of words, and walking and talking book recommending extraordinaires! I'm sure they get their superpowers from inhaling the smell of new books. They perform surgical procedures second to none repairing stories that have been loved to pieces. They know the secrets of how to reserve the upcoming bestseller before there's a queue 50 deep waiting for it (and if you're nice to them they may even share this coveted knowledge with you). They are the holders of the key to unlocking the universe, a library card, and they'll give you one for free! Friends to book nerds everywhere, librarians are underappreciated paperback royalty.This Is What a Librarian Looks Like is a fantastic book and should be required reading for any politician or government official who has any say in how much funding libraries receive. I've haunted libraries for as long as I can remember yet I still didn't realise how integral libraries and librarians are to society. While this book's focus is America its principles are universal. In a nutshell, libraries and librarians are awesome!! This book is chock full of photographs and quotes from librarians who work at various public, school, prison and hospital libraries across America, along with essays about the history of libraries and personal library experiences of authors including Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin.My Mum was the one who introduced me to our local library (A.K.A. the most magical place on earth). I'd marvel at the selection of books on offer that I got to choose from, knowing that the next time we visited I'd get to do it all over again. Mum and I would visit the library not only for 'just for the pleasure of reading' books but also for help with school projects. The librarians knew everything! Mum and I would tell them what my project was about and they'd lead us to wherever Mr Dewey called. They'd make personal recommendations about the best books for the topics I was looking for and even let me in to the special back room that held the super important local history archives and other curiosities that you could photocopy but could never, ever cross the seal. Oh, wait ... that was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but I swear I felt important enough that I may as well have been holding the Holy Grail.When I came across Roald Dahl's Matilda I wanted to read all of the books in my local library but ended up in awe of her because there were just so many to choose from. Some of my all time favourites that I first discovered on a library shelf as a child have made their way to my own personal library as an adult. I loved my school libraries as well and became a library monitor in high school. Even when I wasn't 'on the job' I could be found hanging out chatting to the school librarians during my lunch break. Not much has changed. Just ask my local librarians! 😜Decades later Mum and I once again haunt our local library together, but now my local library doesn't just have books. Between us we borrow books, magazines, CD's, and DVD's, along with electronic books, audiobooks, music, magazines, comic books, movies and documentaries. My local library doesn't even charge for reserving items from another branch and getting them sent to our Mother Ship branch, so I spend time every weekday scouring the new acquisitions and ordering everything Mum and/or I are interested in. There's even the option to ask the library to buy something they don't have in stock and I feel like a child at Christmas every time a librarian gives me an item I asked the library to purchase.Now, I'm definitely not biased and I'm not one to boast, but my librarians are the best in the entire world! They're so friendly and so helpful, and over the years have become friends I look forward to seeing and catching up with. I go to my library on certain days to see my favourite librarian and love hearing about their life, seeing their holiday photos, and of course hearing about what they're reading. The best librarian in the world has recommended books to me she knows I'll love, patiently explains when my brain decides it doesn't want to understand something, has been a social worker to me when I've had bad news, is happy for me when I'm excited about something (like writing book reviews), and laughs with (and at?) me when I'm being weird, eccentric me.Back to the book, I had too many favourite quotes to list but here are some that made the short list:"The library was a safe place filled with thousands of potential life-changing friends who couldn't talk to you, but would tell you a story nonetheless." - Kyle Cassidy"Libraries are the connective tissue of the community; connecting people with the resources they need and want in order to do, see, and be all they aspire." - Brian Hart"Libraries are very much like oysters; common, abundant, and seemingly ordinary. That is, until you find the endless beauty held within." - Majed Khader"Libraries are a safe space where you can challenge your views about life." - Scott NicholsonI received a copy of this book from NetGalley (thank you very much to NetGalley and Hachette Books for the opportunity) in exchange for honest feedback. I love this book!
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  • Jai
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book!!! I immediately knew that I would eventually check it out from my local public library. Okay where should I start??!! Well, first of all all the photos of the librarians around the country. That made up the whole book long with a small bit of information about what they felt that libraries did or what they did as librarians. It brought me back to the first time I was in a school library and then the first time I was in a public library in my hometown of Cleveland, I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book!!! I immediately knew that I would eventually check it out from my local public library. Okay where should I start??!! Well, first of all all the photos of the librarians around the country. That made up the whole book long with a small bit of information about what they felt that libraries did or what they did as librarians. It brought me back to the first time I was in a school library and then the first time I was in a public library in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. It was just so much nostalgia when the librarians talked about kids who found their love and passion for reading in a library. Also, the stereotype of the little old white lady librarian was smashed! There was every color and gender of librarian shown in this book. And there were so many beautiful black and brown faces, it made me so happy and proud. This book also highlighted that not only are libraries necessary for lending and reading books, most public libraries have so many other programs like story time or hosting a local book club and a refuge for homeless to stay warm and dry. But library funding is the first to be slashed sadly. These librarians highlighted why we need libraries. Libraries provide access to the internet for people who may not be able to afford it in their homes. That Internet and WiFi access alone helps job seekers, unemployed people do resumes and gives people access to other information not necessarily within the library itself. To paraphrase Neil Gaiman: "Google can give you lot's of answers, a librarian will give you the correct on"Shout out to all the Librarians that I know personally and all the librarians at The Cleveland Public Library and the Lakewood Public library..you guys ROCK!!!
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  • Kyrie
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, I admit my bias up front. I am the proud mother and sister of librarians. Not much riles me more than someone asking me, "But what's the point of libraries when everything is online?" So I was predisposed to like this book. I took my time reading it, a section a day, just to savor the stories. It was cool - having someone tell the story of how libraries affect their life, and then reading the points of view of various librarians. I love the wide variety of libraries - public, school, medic Okay, I admit my bias up front. I am the proud mother and sister of librarians. Not much riles me more than someone asking me, "But what's the point of libraries when everything is online?" So I was predisposed to like this book. I took my time reading it, a section a day, just to savor the stories. It was cool - having someone tell the story of how libraries affect their life, and then reading the points of view of various librarians. I love the wide variety of libraries - public, school, medical, archives. I love that libraries lend books, but also lend kayaks, dolls, art, movies. I really, really love how librarians leap into the gaps to help people unfamiliar with technology learn to operate a computer, fix their smart phone, apply for jobs.From personal experience I have watched libraries help an entire county navigate the intricacies of FEMA websites and help people who have lost everything in a flood find a way to recover information and get help (all while many of the librarians were dealing with their own losses in the same flood). Libraries are not static, they are evolving to meet the needs of the information age. This book shows so many ways how they are. I think every library head needs to read it and take notes so they can explain it during the next city budget meeting. We need our libraries. Okay, down from my soapbox. Also this fulfills the Popsugar Reading Challenge 2018 of a book you borrowed or was given to you as a gift. Thank you, Lizzy!
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