Sarah Houghton, the Librarian in Black

This interview is over 1 year old and may no longer be up to date or reflect the interviewee/interviewees’ positions

Originally published 1/6/12, 2/15/13 and 6/4/13 as Sarah Houghton, the Librarian in Black …In Six

Naomi House’s interview with Sarah Houghton, otherwise know as the Librarian in Black.

Naomi: What is your dream job and why?
Sarah: I would love to be a futurist for a think tank. It’s what I love to do, and I’d like to think I’m fairly good at it. I’ve predicted a number of things that have happened exactly as (and when) I said they would. Besides, who wouldn’t want to get paid to think all day?

Naomi: What blogs should we be reading?
Sarah: There are too many (!) but here are a few of my favorites: Agnostic Maybe, Ars Technica, Boing Boing, Go to Hellman, InfoDocket,, LibraryLawBlog, ReadWriteWeb, Sleep Talkin’ Man, Tame the Web, Teleread, Things Organized Neatly, Walking Paper, Zen Habits.

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Sarah: Easy! The dok Library Concept Center in Delft in the Netherlands. A gorgeous building with talented staff, a culture of creativity and exploration for staff and customers, a great collection of traditional and non-traditional materials (like check-out-able artwork!), amazingly innovative uses of technology, and a good community presence.

Naomi: Favorite book(s)?
Sarah: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, American Gods and the entire Sandman series from Neil Gaiman, Neuromancer and Pattern Recognition by William Gibson, The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, Makers by Cory Doctorow, and so many more I have to now stop myself.

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries?
Sarah: We democratize information and expertise. That’s amazing.

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Sarah: Don’t rely on national services to catch all the jobs available. If you are looking in a particular area, be sure to check websites and listservs for that state, region, county, city, etc. Many jobs are not well-advertised, so you really have to check multiple places.

Sarah Houghton is best known as the author of the award-winning She is also the Acting Director for the San Rafael Public Library. Sarah is a big technology nerd and believes in the power of libraries to change lives. Combined, they make a fearsome cocktail. Sarah has been called an iconoclast, a contrarian, a future-pusher, and a general pain in the ass. She takes great pride in each. Her first book came out in 2010: Technology Training in Libraries and she is a frequent speaker for online and realspace worldwide events for libraries and other institutions.


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