Michael Gorman
By: Robert Wringham | Categories: HiLo Heroes

michaelgorman

MICHAEL GORMAN (born 1941) is one of the most influential voices of librarianship in a century. He is the editor of the AACR2 cataloguing rules, used by libraries almost everywhere; wrote an enduring ethics for librarians called The Eight Principles of Librarianship; and was instrumental in ushering into existence what we now call the British Library, arguably the finest library in the world. His entertaining memoir Broken Pieces: a library life hints at a pleasingly Bohemian youth. His witty, humane, visionary books are manifestos for what makes a good library and how the library fits into society; any top-down conversion of a library into a “resource centre,” in Gorman’s view, is a resounding loss for humanity. His Eight Principles are informed by Buddhist wisdom and envision a library system that is truly for all. He prompts us to embrace the spiritual, the domestic and the communal in our actions, especially in a culture increasingly dominated by the corporate and the institutional.

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On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Furry Lewis, Will Eisner, Donald Davidson, Ring Lardner.

READ MORE about members of the Anti-Anti-Utopian Generation (1934-43).

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Robert Wringham is a writer and performer who lives in Montreal, Quebec; and Glasgow, Scotland. His first degree is in Psychology and his second is in Library and Information Studies. He's the editor of New Escapologist: a magazine for bored employees with escape on the brain. His first book is jovially titled You Are Nothing.