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.


Holy Logorrhea, Batman!

I was listening to NPR on my way to work this afternoon and heard a "Such-and-Such supports NPR" PSA, and the Such-and-Such defined itself as "Publishers of Logorrhea: Good Words Make Good Stories, edited by John Klima." Our John Klima! Plugged! On NPR! Holy cow!

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TV Upfronts

It's Spring, and a girl's fancy turns to the next season of delights on television. The NY Times' Virginia Huffernan is covering the networks' Upfronts at the artsbeat blog, and last week, EW.com published a preview of what's to come for the 2007-2008. Sadly, it looks like longtime Pop favorite Veronica Mars is on the chopping block. However, The Bionic Woman on NBC (check the preview here) looks like a worthy successor to Alias, Terminator 2, and Battlestar Galactica all rolled into one. In other words, my TiVo is set!

Update: more on the Upfronts from TVWeek.com. Just in case you need more.

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Greensburg Kansas

This message is from Michelle Swain, Kansas Library Association President (2006 - 07):

For those of you who would like to help the Greensburg, KS, Kiowa County Library after the devastating tornado they suffered, the Kansas Library Association Educational Foundation has set up a fund for donations. KLA EF is a 501c3 organization and all donations are tax deductible.

The most recent report is that the library building was essentially sheared off three feet above the ground. Everything below three feet is sitting in water, making it a complete loss. PLEASE DO NOT SEND BOOKS, there is no place to put them.

Navigate to the link below. Contributions can be made with a credit or debit card through PayPal, or you can print the PDF form and send a check or money order. All donations should be unspecified, so their FEMA and other relief aid will not be affected.


Thank you to everyone who has expressed a desire to help one small town in Kansas recover and rebuild their library.

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While I have a Super Librarian T shirt (and will post a photo once I actually take a photo), despite rumors to the contrary I am not Super Librarian.

But, go to YouTube and see the Super Librarian and her sidekick in action. More here. And information on the SL at the New Jersey State Library page.

Thanks to Rock & Roll Librarian for the video link.

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Wizard Rock

For those of you interested in Harry Potter inspired music, check out this great article from the Star Ledger (NJ): Like magic, musical genre appears. Also, there is a list of HP inspired bands.

As the article states, many of these bands are on MySpace if you want additional information.



I've had the idea for this post for a while. In fact, my notes are dated February 22 of this year, although the links seem to indicate that my thoughts stretched into March on this. It all comes from the good people over at Entertainment Weekly's Pop Watch (an essential pop culture site). They found some old videos on YouTube of Sesame Street clips. These are all clips that I remember from my youth, much like the Pop Watcher who posted them. They are:

Making crayons
Girl Takes Llama to the Dentist
That Cantalope who sang Bizet's Carmen

(Ed note: that cantalope always scared me to death as a kid; it still gives me the shivers)

This got me thinking about a quote I say all the time. (quick aside: I constantly pepper my conversation with snippets of dialogue from television, movies, music, etc.; I suspect it's annoying to people who don't know what I'm talking about, but I'm helpless to stop) The line is: "You feed, I'll water."

NO ONE knows where this comes from. It reminds of when I started college and was talking to people about Schoolhouse Rock, and I got back blank stares. Then I went and bought the video tapes (yes, I went to college before there were DVDs, kids) and played them for people, which seemed to help jog their memory.

The line I remember is from a PSA about sharing. Two kids are fighting over feeding a rabbit...well, let's do some research and get the tale better told than I can:

But when kids do watch TV, after school and week-end mornings, they'll soon see some new 30-second spots illustrating nonviolent and positive solutions to conflict situations. Developed by the United Methodist Church, the Disciples of Christ and the Church of the Brethren, the "Children's Growing Spots" are available locally and on the network. "The Rabbit" goes like this:

Two children:
"I'm gonna take care of the rabbit."
"I wanna do it."
"We can't both do it. go!"

"What would you do?"

"I know. You feed, I'll water."

"When two people want to do the same thing, one idea is to divide the job and each do part of it."

"Tomorrow you feed and I'll water." "Deal."

"And that's a good way to share."

This article originally appeared in Media & Values Issue #10 / Winter 1980

Interesting that I found this article that was published nearly 30 years ago. I remember this ad clear as day. (I'll hang myself out to dry here: I always reimagined this ad with my BFF and I in it since it seemed like something we would do) But I've yet to meet someone else who knows this ad. Do any of you remember it?

Do any of you have any books from your childhood that no one else seems to remember? How about a reading club of 'forgotten' books? Or a programming item where people talk about their favorite books that no one else knows? Or perhaps even a display of things from your childhood tied to books in the collection? The ideas are endless.

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My Daemon

I took the "What's Your Daemon" quiz at the site for the film of The Golden Compass, and found that mine is a tiger named Pyrrheus. Dear readers, would you agree that this suits me? I'm not so sure about modest (I'm usually not shy about, er, trumpeting my achievements), but I think the rest of the description is fairly accurate.

Curious about what your daemon might be? Take the quiz yourself!

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Children's Series Binder Wiki

Oh, this rocks my socks so hard. I was catching up with What Adrienne Thinks About That ( if you're not reading her already, you really, really should, because she reviews books and movies with elan, and talks a bit about homeschooling, which I predict will be THE hot topic of youth-serving librarianship for at least the next decade), and she posted about this wonderful new upgrade to the Children's Series Binder.

You know what I mean -- those binders we all have, full of painstakingly created pages of series titles, individual titles, and multiple authors? The binders whose pages become soft with use and eventually fall out because we can't be bothered to put those little o-ring protectors on each of the holes in the margin? The ones that you have to update every year as old series go out of print and eventually are weeded through over-use, and new series come to replace them?

Recycle them, friends, because The Children's Series Binder Wiki is here to help you. Keeping up with new series can be really difficult, but the wiki, which is both browsable and searchable, makes it easy. Want to participate? E-mail creator Greg Benoit at seriesbinder@frontiernet.net

Recent example of a Serie-ous Problem: One week, I had three requests for a series called Drake & Josh. I had no idea who Drake & Josh were, because I don't have cable, but happily, we had the books, and the requesters went home delighted. Three requests in one week? For the same series? That meant an upgrade to our standing order plan (previously, we'd been ordering them title-by-title), and a move for the books from our regular J shelves to our special J series gondolas, where popular children's series books are shelved in alphabetical order by series title, not by author. This is a big deal, because previously, we shelved everything by author, which, with so many series having multiple authors, was kind of a pain in the neck for our patrons & for staff, too.

Now, thanks to the Children's Series Binder Wiki, I know not only about all the titles in the regular series, but that there's a cine-manga, too, which I'm sure we'll want to have for our legions of rabid Drake and Josh fans.

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Congratulations, Liz!

I am beyond delighted to report that the YALSA election results are in, and our very own Liz Burns is a brand-new member of the Printz Committee! I could not be happier, prouder, or more full of squee than I am right now. As everyone who reads Liz's posts here and at Tea Cozy knows, she is brilliant, thoughtful, fair, and funny, which is about as fine a combination of qualities a Printz Committee member can have.

Mazel Tov, Smartie. You earned it.

In other fabulous YALSA/NJ news, Friends of Pop Sarah Cornish Debraski is YALSA President-Elect, and Sharon Rawlins is on the Margaret A. Edwards Committee. A great day for NJ librarians, I'd say.

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