February 17, 2018

Troy Johnson | Movers & Shakers 2004


Bytes About Books


Troy Johnson was a devoted reader and library user even as a teen living in Alaska. ‘Alaska has ways to promote indoor activities,’ he says. His experiences with librarians there and at the University of Nebraska College of Law made law librarianship an appealing career choice when he received his law degree and realized he had no idea what he wanted to do with it. Now, as Electronic Services and Reference Librarian at Creighton University School of Law Library, Johnson selects the library’s electronic resources and teaches legal research methods to those who do
want to practice law.

Johnson’s true love is still ‘the book,’ whose power he amplifies with technology. His web site, Bibliofuture: The Future of the Library and the Book, is home to the Librarian’s Book Club, which he created to give librarians an inexpensive professional development opportunity. Members vote on the monthly selection and discuss it through an electronic discussion list. In December 2003, offerings included Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust
and a fiction selection by Sean McMullen, Souls in the Great Machine, in which librarians take over the world (what we might call a utopian fantasy).

Perhaps because he reads so widely, Johnson sees many unfilled information niches for librarians to fill, like creating new, highly specialized topical libraries. But he also laments that our professional associations have been slow to respond to new technologies, letting businesses create search engines librarians could have built, leaving it to resourceful librarians to create other knowledge management tools such as directories, tutorials, and blogs.

Being young, innovative, and impatient, Johnson has a better chance than most to change that institutional sluggishness.




Current Position: Electronic Services/Reference Librarian, Creighton University School of Law Library, Omaha
Degrees: MLS, University of Missouri, 1998; J.D., University of Nebraska College of Law, 1997
Hobby: Wherever he is, he reads and posts to BookCrossing.com , the ‘global book club’