May 01 2005

Book review: Our Own Selves

Published by rachel at 1:33 pm under book reviews

Gorman, Michael. Our Own Selves: More Meditations for Librarians. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2005. ISBN 0838908969, $28.00.

Michael Gorman is the incoming ALA President. This is his second book on the “meditations” theme, following Our Enduring Values: Librarianship in the 21st Century (ALA Editions, 2000). It is split into ten sections, each containing ten subsections. Each is introduced by a quotation, followed by Gorman’s reflections on the topic, and then concluded with a brief resolution along the lines of “I will seek to understand the implications of technological change” or “I will understand the purpose of things and value them for what they are.” These words might sound trite or cloying in the hands of a lesser writer, but Gorman’s erudition and decades of passionate interaction with libraries give his reflections depth and wisdom. The title will be useful to both novice and accomplished librarians. Of particular note to recent readers of Gorman’s work will be his meditation on blogs, page 207, which may look familiar.

Jessamyn West runs the web site librarian.net and lives in rural Vermont.

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