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.


Campaign '08: Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles for America's libraries

Back in the day, I used to watch CSI religiously because I sort of have a thing for crime shows. I still like Grissom and Co. as much as I ever did but they are no longer my top priority on Thursday nights at 9. The show that is now number one in my Thursday television heart is Supernatural.

Supernatural, abbreviated SPN by fans, follows brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) as they travel the long unmarked roads of the United States in a black 1967 Chevy Impala. They tell strangers they're on a road trip, but the truth is that they're saving humanity from demons, malevolent spirits, and whatever else Hell can cough up. Sam and Dean were trained by their father to be demon hunters after a demon killed their mother and nearly killed Sam in a fire when Sam was six months old. Growing up, their relationship was strained. Dean never questioned his role as a needed hunter, but Sam wanted to go to college and live a more or less normal life. When the show opens, viewers learn that Sam and Dean haven't spoken in over a year. Dean tells Sam (after breaking into his apartment at Stanford, of course) that their father is missing and Sam, being an honorable sort, joins Dean to find their father.

Four episodes into Season 3, we've seen Sam and Dean travel cross-country listening to what Sam refers to as "the greatest hits of mullet rock," bickering in ways that will be painfully familiar to anyone with siblings. More importantly, we've seen two smart brothers who are fiercely loyal to each other and their cause, and who are fully cognizant of the power of libraries.

Yes, I said libraries.

When traveling the country, Sam and Dean often need to know the history and legends of the towns they visit. By studying the past, they can often fix problems in the present. In many episodes, their primary source for background on the spirits they pursue is the town library. It seems only logical, then, that Jared and Jensen would be perfect candidates to appear on an ALA Celebrity READ poster.

If you agree with me (and Liz!), you can email Rachel Johnson at rjohnson @ ala.org (without the spaces) and suggest that Jared and Jensen would make great READ spokesmen. Because if Orlando Bloom on a bookmark can inspire my reluctant-reader sister to say, "I have to read more!" think of what TWO celebrities on a bookmark can do.

(Personally, I'd like to see them holding The Exorcist and Grimm's Fairy Tales, but as long as they're on a poster they can hold Pat the Bunny and The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo for all I care.)

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FYI: LIVEbrary Media Awareness Program

From the good people of Annick Press:

LIVEbrary offers Media Awareness Program, Grades 4-8: Annick Press has begun
an ambitious new online program for middle school and junior high schools students, teachers, librarians and homeschoolers called the "LIVEbrary." The two-year program is funded by a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. The first season begins October 15 with a 5-week program on Media Awareness. Among others, it features media literacy pioneer Shari Graydon, author of "Made You Look" and "In Your Face," books that challenge kids to become aware of how advertisers try to manipulate them.

The Series Librarian for the LIVEbrary program is Gary Price, editor of ResourceShelf.com and director of information technology for Internet search engine, ASK.com.The LIVEbrary publishes a lesson plan each week that includes a reading, discussion questions, an assignment, and a quiz. Students may participate through the LIVEbrary blog, email, and/or live chat.

Live chats are every Thursday afternoon from 2-3 pm ET. The chats are provided with assistance from Skype Technologies, makers of the popular SKYPE Internet phone software. Teachers, librarians, parents and homeschoolers must register in advance to participate in the LIVEbrary. More information, including registration, instructions, and a complete schedule are available at the LIVEbrary Blog or via email from LIVEbrary@annickpress.com.

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what's your favorite podcast?

Faithful PGTL readers, help! I'm planning a program on podcasting at my library, yet . . . I don't really listen to podcasts. So I was hoping y'all could contribute info on your favorite podcast(s). This program is for teens, so certain topics are no-go zones, but otherwise, I'm eager to find a diverse selection of podcasts.

Thanks for your help! You can either leave a comment or email me at melinwonderland@yahoo.com.



ALSC & Blogging

ALSC has a blog!



31 Flavorite Authors for Teens

Teen Read Week is this October. The Readergirlz and YALSA have decided to celebrate TRW all month, starting today.

Every day this month a different YA author is highlighted, with a nightly chat at the Readergirlz group forum at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST (with the exception of the Halloween chat, which will be held at 9 PM PST/MIDNIGHT EST). More info at the Readergirlz site, including downloadable bookmarks and the like.

Here's the full schedule:

Week One
October 1st: Meg Cabot
October 2nd: Tiffany Trent
October 3rd: Brent Hartinger
October 4th: Lorie Ann Grover
October 5th: K.L. Going
October 6th: Nikki Grimes

Week Two
October 7th: Ellen Hopkins
October 8th: Justina Chen Headley
October 9th: Chris Crutcher
October 10th: Ann Brashares
October 11th: Sarah Mlynowski
October 12th: Cecil Castellucci
October 13th: Kirby Larson

Week Three
October 14th: Tanya Lee Stone
October 15th: John Green
October 16th: Sara Zarr
October 17th: Deb Caletti
October 18th: Rachel Cohn
October 19th: Kirsten Miller
October 20th: Mitali Perkins

Week Four
October 21st: Sonya Sones
October 22nd: Lisa Yee
October 23rd: Carolyn Mackler
October 24th: E. Lockhart
October 25th: Janet Lee Carey
October 26th: Gaby Triana
October 27th: Lauren Myracle

Week Five
October 28th: Holly Black
October 29th: Cynthia Leitich Smith
October 30th: Dia Calhoun
October 31st: Stephenie Meyer (Special time: 9 PM PST/MIDNIGHT EST)



Over at the blog Bildungsroman, there's an interview with Paula Brehm-Heeger, the 2007-2008 YALSA President.