This week, the American Library Association will host its annual conference in Chicago and OverDrive will be on hand to share the latest innovations in digital reading. Before we head to the Windy City for this yearly celebration of library love however, our Professional Book Nerds interviewed Kyle Cassidy about the importance of libraries in both his life and society as a whole. Kyle is an author and photographer whose latest book, This is What a Librarian Looks Like, shows the diversity and splendor of librarians from all walks of life.

Kyle CassidyKyle not only photographed more than two hundred librarians for this gorgeous book but he also collected stories and quotes from them on what makes libraries so vital to their communities. This Is What a Librarian Looks Like features essays from the likes of Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Nancy Pearl and several other bestselling authors on what libraries and librarians have meant to them.

In our interview, Kyle shares the process of how this book came to be and his own journey back to the library. Kyle discussed how the OverDrive app led him to rediscover the magic of the library and the fact that he has read countless books he never would have considered picking up thanks to his library’s digital collection of titles. When asked why he loves using OverDrive, Kyle mentioned that, “OverDrive is the answer to people saying ‘Oh I can just buy that book online’. There are a lot of books I wouldn’t pay $25 for online but I’ve read them because I got it on OverDrive.”

Kyle Cassidy 2Throughout this conversation, you’ll hear Kyle’s passion for libraries and what librarians mean to the world. It’s clear the authors he interviewed felt the same as he stated that, “Every author I spoke to had stories about librarians because they all grew up in libraries. They wouldn’t be who they are today if it wasn’t for libraries.”

Take a listen and feel free to share this interview with your library community. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this powerful book and what the library means to your users as well!