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.


A British Invasion?

I've been spending some time on Facebook lately. This was after spending a few days on LinkedIn, seeing if I could find some old acquaintances. I was frustrated by the LinkedIn interface, but was able to find a few college buddies I hadn't talked to in a long time. Then I read an article about how LinkedIn was no longer cool and everyone was on Facebook these days (OK, the article is about why the article writer was switching to Facebook).

So I thought I would check out Facebook. It was so easy to use. And I could interface my address book and Facebook looked for people with accounts. Through Facebook I was able to reconnect with a women I worked with eight years ago and hadn't talked to since then. Cool. And I found our fearless leader Sophie. And one of my old college roommates (and one of my big inspirations to become a librarian) was there, too.

Which brings me to this post. In addition to getting a 'coffee' from Sophie on Facebook, we also shared a 'CD Rack' (a virtual collection of music). I added a bunch of things of the top of my head; mostly things that are on my mp3 player (ripped from CDs I own, thank you very much!) When Sophie noticed that I had added Amy Winehouse and Lily Allen, she said I should check out The Pipettes.

All three of these musical acts are British. They are all female acts (two solo, one group). You would never confuse them for each other, but there is a nice thread that runs through their musical stylings. All three artists have very irreverent lyrics that are placed against non-irreverent music.

For example, Amy Winehouse's music would be more at home on an old skool Motown record than on a new cd. However, Winehouse's lyrical content can be quite shocking at times. This is quite clear with her current single "Rehab" which starts with the line "They want to make me go to rehab/I say no, no, no." Lily Allen's first single "Smile" is a bright, poppy sounding song, but the chorus says "When I hear you cry/It makes me smile." Neither of these sentiments is likely to be on a Hallmark card.

So then I go to hear the Pipettes. The three ladies look like something straight out of the first quarter of Dreamgirls, but they have songs like "Sex" and "Your Kisses Do Nothing For Me." Again, bright and happy music counter-balanced with snarky, funny lyrics. It's interesting that all three groups are doing--at the most basic levels--similar things with music and lyrics that don't seem to go together and they're all British. It makes me wonder what other female artists are out there that are doing similar things.

And what about the library John? Well, does your library has a Facebook account? Someone at your library? Perhaps you can do a little collection development through their book/cd/dvd applications. I've already found out about a group whose album I need to buy (hee hee, you said 'album'), I'm sure I'll find out more the longer I do this.

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