PROFESSIONAL READING

Capturing Our Stories: An Oral History of Librarianship in Transition

202p. bibliog. illus. index. ALA. Jan. 2017. pap. $45. ISBN 9780838914618.
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Smith (technical services manager, San Marcos Public Library, TX) contends the library profession is losing a significant number of professional librarians owing to retirement. To save their stories from being lost, Smith's doctoral research captured their stories via oral history interviews. Smith reworks his dissertation to produce this volume, providing the stories of 35 librarians whose careers encompassed the latter half of the 20th century. School, public, academic, and special librarians from large and small, urban and rural libraries are represented. Collective themes emerge from the stories as Smith discusses the relationship subjects have with choosing the profession, battling and embracing stereotypes, adjusting to technology, coping with career regrets, and serving patrons. In writing that is clear and fluid, the author includes an introduction to oral history theory and methodology and offers practical advice for budding researchers, although at times he retells the same story. A substantive bibliography is provided, but more detailed analysis would have added depth. However, the librarians' words shine through and give life to this volume.
VERDICT The stories contained in this volume will appeal to those interested in the history of librarianship, the history of occupations, the role of women in the workplace, and oral histories.

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