Poor Johnny One-Note: Speaking Up for Libraries

By Leonhardt, Thomas W. | Information Technology and Libraries, September 1995 | Go to article overview

Poor Johnny One-Note: Speaking Up for Libraries


Leonhardt, Thomas W., Information Technology and Libraries


Two lives ago, I had the wonderful experience of playing in the 84th U.S. Army Band, Fulda, Germany. Technically, I was a professional musician for a year, but I never forgot my strictly amateur talent and my good fortune to be sitting in with some true professionals.

One of my friends in the band was a reed man-tenor sax and clarinet. He had read or heard somewhere that John Coltrane would play an individual note over and over again until he felt he had captured its essence. My friend, emulating his idol, would play a single note or three-note riff for what seemed like hours at a time until he and everyone around him knew the essence of what he played. He tried it on our piano, too, until someone hid the key from him.

For the past year or so in writings and speeches, I have felt as if I have been poor Johnny One-note, seeking the essence of libraries by playing my three-note riff-books, libraries, librarians. I was slowly discovering the essence of this riff, but did anyone in the audience dig it? This spring I was reassured and gratified when I received a letter from an academic librarian in Ohio who had heard my riff at a conference last fall. The piece that I played stressed the importance of libraries, imploring all within earshot to evaluate technology and the Internet critically and not simply accept them as the salvation of librarians who want to ply their trade in the future.

As I was composing this editorial, President Clinton was imploring us to speak out against the purveyors of hate, intolerance, and bigotry. In a free society we are all responsible for our freedom, and to remain silent when others misspeak in our names is to tacitly approve their messages.

Librarians cannot remain silent either when the importance of libraries, reading, and free and equal access to knowledge is dismissed as outmoded and old-fashioned. And we cannot remain silent when librarians who insist that "librarian" is an honorable title are said to have their traditionalist heads buried in the sand.

Librarians are finally beginning to speak up and others are hearing the ring of truth. First we had Roma Harris and Librarianship: the Erosion of a Woman's Profession,(1) followed shortly by The Myth of the Electronic Library: Librarianship and Social Change in America, by William Birdsall.(2) Now we have Future Libraries: Dreams, Madness, and Reality by Walt Crawford and Michael Gorman.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Poor Johnny One-Note: Speaking Up for Libraries
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.