The Future of Librarianship

In honor of National Library Week our latest Review of the Week explores the evolution and enduring values of librarianship

Our enduring values revisited: librarianship in an ever-changing world

Gorman, Michael. ALA, 2015
240p index afp, 9780838913000 $45.00

Our enduring values revisited: librarianship in an ever-changing world book cover

Former library dean Gorman (California State Univ., Fresno), a past president of the American Library Association, is a well-known figure for his thought-provoking writings about libraries and the library profession. This latest book follows his successful Our Enduring Values: Librarianship in the 21st Century (2000) and does not disappoint. Rather than acting as a library futurist or trying to solve all the problems libraries face, Gorman paints a realistic picture of the evolving library field while examining, often critically, how and why things have reached this point. He argues that despite rapidly changing technology, the core values and philosophies guiding libraries and librarians have endured, chief among them the charge to preserve and organize the human record. In 14 chapters—some titled simply “Stewardship,” “Service,” “Privacy,” or “Democracy”—Gorman demonstrates that many enduring values are just as important today as they were in years past. The author’s clear and effective writing style is refreshing. Readers may not agree with all his assertions, but this book is a must read for library professionals, library school students and those considering the career, or anyone concerned about the future of libraries in a civic society. An essential addition to career or general circulating collections in public and academic libraries, including community colleges.

Summing Up: Essential. All academic levels; general readers.
Reviewer: J. D. Graveline, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Subject: Reference – Library & Information Sciences
Choice Issue: Dec 2015