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.


Self-Promotion and the Spelling Bee

Hey gang. Tomorrow (May 1) will see the publication of the anthology that I edited for Bantam Books. As you may know, the book is called Logorrhea: Good Words Make Good Stories. Every story in the anthology is based on a spelling-bee winning word. Here is the full table of contents:

Hal Duncan - “The Chiaroscurist”
Liz Williams - “Lyceum”
David Prill - “Vivisepulture”
Clare Dudman - “Eczema”
Alex Irvine - “Semaphore”
Marly Youmans - “The Smaragdine Knot”
Michael Moorcock - “A Portrait in Ivory”
Daniel Abraham - “The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairy Tale of Economics”
Michelle Richmond - “Logorrhea”
Anna Tambour - “Pococurante”
Tim Pratt - “From Around Here”
Elizabeth Hand - “Vignette”
Alan DeNiro - “Plight of the Sycophant”
Matthew Cheney - “The Last Elegy”
Jay Caselberg - “Eudaemonic”
Paolo Bacigalupi - “Softer”
Jay Lake - “Crossing the Seven”
Leslie What - “Tsuris”
Neil Williamson - “The Euonymist”
Theodora Goss - “Singing of Mount Abora”
Jeff VanderMeer - “Appoggiatura”

I'm very excited about this book. It's been a lot of work in a short amount of time. I sold the book in January of 2006. There were only two out of 21 stories written at that time. To get more than 100,000 words written, edited, and pushed through the publishing process in just over a year took a great amount of effort. I've gotten the chance to work with a lot of authors that I admire.

Just as important, the Scripps National Spelling Bee takes place at the end of May. The finals are set to take place on May 31, with the semifinals live on ESPN from 10am to 1pm, and then the finals on ABC from 8pm to 10pm. (all times EST) Anyone doing any programming around the bee? Anyone got patrons asking for books about the bee, or that feature spelling bees, or that are inspired by the spelling bee? Well, in a bit of shameless self-promotion, this book would fit the bill.

And, if you're in the Quad Cities area of Iowa, I have events set up on May 19 in the Borders in Davenport and on May 20 at the Barnes & Noble in North Park Mall. Hope to see you there!

John Klima

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YALSA -- Virtual Library Legislative Day

National Library Legislative Day is May 1st & May 2nd; it's a chance to go to Washington DC and advocate for libraries.

Can't make it? Then participate without the travel, with Virtual Library Legislative Day. Full information and links are at the YALSA Blog. So go over, check out the links and the talking points, and get read to call, fax and email.

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Mashup 2007

Just wondering -- is anyone going to Mashup 2007: Reaching Today's Totally Wired Generation With Technology?

It looks very cool, and it looks like the type of non-library conference that librarians should attend. It's in San Francisco, July 16 to July 17. Mashup 2007 is produced by Ypulse.

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Playlist: The 1970s

Every once and a while it is fun to revisit the pop culture of another decade via books and music. This week I picked the 1970s. Now, the books and music don't necessarily need to be written or produced in the 1970s but they must pay tribute to that time. For my trip back to the '70s I picked the book We Were The Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates. While reading this family tragedy my imagination skipped to the thought, "What 1970s pop songs might the characters have been listening to on their car radios?" To answer that question I turned to the new Donny Osmond Love Songs of the '70s. I really like this album and so does the U.K. since it has gone gold over the pond. The other album on my playlist is Mika's Life in Cartoon Motion. Although none of the songs are from the 1970s when listening to Mika I am reminded of the happy pop music of the '70s and on some tracks, such as Grace Kelly, of Freddie Mercury and Queen. So, what's on your playlist this week?

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5 Blogs Meme

So, Pete Bromberg tagged me with this one a while back, and I think I've been not responding in large part because I'm really not keeping up with blogs right now. I have quite a bit going on in my life at work and at home, and all things blog are sort of taking a backseat, except for the team blog that my department is using at work -- I'm participating in that daily!

So, with the caveat that I'm not blogging it up as much as usual right now, here are three non-LIS blogs I am enjoying so much that I make sure to check my feeds for them daily.

The Happiness Project: Gretchen Rubin is "writing a memoir about the year I spent test-driving every principle, tip, theory, and scientific study I could find, whether from Aristotle or St. Therese or Martin Seligman or Oprah." Sounds cool to me! I particuarly like Tip Wednesdays.

David Seah on Productivity: So creative, so in tune with his own process of getting motivated, getting done, getting ON with things. Definitely check out the Printable CEO downloads -- lots of useful stuff there.

Soulemama: Amanda Soule lives in rural Maine with her three homeschooled/unschooled kids, and has the kind of creative brain I dream of having. Just looking at her sewing projects is enough to make me price out sewing machines, and reading about the ways in which she really knows each of her kids is inspiring to me. Soulemama is my present drug of choice. I can't wait for her book to be published.

I think I'll pass on tagging anyone, as this meme has most likely run its course. Sorry I got to the party so late!

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Pop Culture On The Spectrum

Television, the internet, video and blogs are big parts of today’s pop culture. However, when Sophie B. created Pop Goes the Library she put on the masthead the subtitle, “Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.” This got me thinking about the ways pop culture can not only make libraries better, but also life better. Today I got an answer. While I was watching television and aimlessly channel surfing I came upon “The View” on ABC featuring popular singer Toni Braxton describing her experiences as the mother of a 3-1/2 year old son with autism. The show also interviewed medical experts on autism and families and individuals living with autism. The statistics are mind-boggling. Today 1 out of every 166 children in the United States is born with autism. After the show, I logged onto a terrific blog called “On the Spectrum” which is a clearinghouse of information on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) run by Chris, a brilliant librarian who is also the mother of a child “on the spectrum.” Chris’s most recent post, "Learning Social Skills by Watching" discusses how research at Indiana University shows that using video may help children and teens with autism. Therefore, I nominate Chris as today’s Pop Princess. Eat your hearts out Jessica Simpson, Hilary Duff and Miley Cyrus!

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