Wholehearted Librarianship: Finding Hope, Inspiration, and Balance

ALA. 2019. 128p. ISBN 9780838919064. pap. $49.99. PRO MEDIA
With this slim, contemplative volume, Stephens (San José State Univ. Sch. of Information; Heart of Librarianship) collects several of his LJ “Office Hours” columns, as well as blog posts and essays, as he reflects on what he’s learned about the profession. For Stephens, librarianship is about imparting knowledge—a goal “best delivered with humanity and heart.” Librarians must “lead from the heart, learn from the heart, and play from the heart,” he urges, stressing the role of empathy and emotional connection. He considers how librarianship has evolved, examines “Librarian Superpowers” (leap obstacles to service in a single bound, listen closely to the community), and emphasizes the importance of the right skills and mind-set. Also crucial, notes Stephens, are support and validation. As he explores topics ranging from adapting a hygge state of mind to incorporating Alexa into technology classes, above all, he highlights personal connection: “We need to get ourselves above the base engage our minds and help our communities.”
VERDICT Library science students, as well as information professional seeking encouragement and motivation, will benefit from Stephens’s stirring work.
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