Broken Pieces: A Library Life, 1941-1978 by Michael Gorman

By Michael Gorman

From his earliest studying thoughts in wartime Britain via 5 many years of librarianship, eminent librarian and previous ALA President Michael Gorman bargains insights from his striking profession during this new memoir. Gorman relates his own trip in prose that's through turns fascinating, opinioned, and revealing. He made maybe his most vital contribution to librarianship as editor of the 1978 Anglo- American Cataloguing ideas, a huge improvement that gets particular consciousness the following. The debates and arguments that will form specialist perform for years yet to come are dramatically offered, with a brilliant solid of characters together with best librarians from continents. Broken Pieces, Gorman s account of being at the entrance strains of a number of the most crucial judgements made in librarianship in the course of his occupation, is a well timed and unique learn.

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Grahame Swift has written that we read so as not to be alone. Perhaps that was why I read everything that I could get my hands on. I remember stories about highwaymen (the Captain books by Eric Leyland were a particular favorite); Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories and novels as well as his historical romances such as The white company and Sir Nigel; the Little grey men books by “BB” (Denis Watkyns Pitchford); tales of smugglers and pirates such as Treasure Island and its many imitators, particularly the Dr.

Westerman; Edwardian fantasies like Anstey’s Vice versa and E. Nesbit’s books about the Bastables; everything by H. G. Wells and John Buchan; historical novels by Harrison Ainsworth and Doyle (I read Dickens’ Barnaby Rudge because it belonged to that genre rather than because it is a Great Novel); Alice through the looking glass and Alice in Wonderland; sea stories by C. S. ” W. E. Johns; Kim and The jungle book by Kipling; Rider Haggard’s books, especially King Solomon’s mines and She; an oddly compelling book of verse, Fightery Dick by Derrick Lehmer; Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons books, stories by Enid Blyton, particularly those about the Famous Five (though even in those uncritical years, I thought them a bit soppy); Hugh Lofting’s Doctor Doolittle stories; the Billy Bunter books and a large number of other school stories (I still possess one of my favorites, Pepper’s crack eleven by Rowland Walker).

My mother was an increasingly remote and physically frightening figure. We lived in something approaching penury, made worse by the need to keep up the pretense that we were living a middle-class life, and it was a constant struggle to provide food and clothing to the growing family. The worst manifestations of our poverty to me were the occasions when I was sent to answer the front doorbell to tell a debt collector or bailiff that there was “no one at home” while my mother stayed quiet in a back room behind a shut door, or when I was sent to the butcher’s shop to ask for meat “on tick,” a deeply humiliating procedure.

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