Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.

2006-12-13

Pop for Parents

No, not the new Sufjan Stevens Christmas album (although that would make a lovely addition to my Jewish Girls' Guide to Rockin' Holiday Music collection) -- I'm talking about parenting pop culture. More specifically, I'm talking about pop culture for parents who want to go beyond Parenting magazine and Babies R Us -- pop culture with some hipster cred, in other words.

Brand spanking new to the scene is Babble, a site devoted to being "a revolution in parenting magazines: a publication that talks to parents not just as caregivers, but as fun, smart, intellectually curious people." Well, hallelujah, I say. On its first full day of publication, Babble looks like a wonderful electronic companion to the print-only wonders of Brain, Child magazine.

As this NY Times article points out, there's been an explosion of honest, irreverent parenting publishing going on, thanks to mommy & daddy blogs, Salon's Mothers Who Think (renamed Life), and momoirs. To this mother, stuff like this is both refreshing and soothing -- it's bracing to see parents admit their hatred of Maisy, and soothing to hear that other mothers have faced near-devastating nursing challenges (it's a bonus to me that the author of the breastfeeding article is Marjorie Ingall, The Forward's East Village Mamele, and long-ago contributor to my beloved Sassy magazine).

This is a major trend, and it's one worth keeping tabs on, both for your subject guides (who out there has a parenting subject guide? If you don't, you should!) and for collection development, generally. I could even see a monthly discussion group meeting based around readings from Babble -- instead of a book club, it'd be a Babble Club. Hmmm, programming idea, aisle one!

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