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.


Internet Librarian 2009

As you know, I went to Internet Librarian 2009 and presented on Pop Culture.

So, how'd I do?

I will be posting here about IL2009, and tweeted at my Twitter/LizB account with the hashtag #il2009; in the meanwhile, here are what other people have to say about the presentation.

Oh, and in one instance -- you can see and hear me talk about the book, Pop Goes the Library!

Video by Elise J. Brown, Degrees of Shining Vlog, it's Internet Librarian 2009 - Seen & Heard - Day 1, Part 2. I'm about three and a half minutes in.

The Librarian in Black posted, IL2009: Technology: The Engine Driving Pop-Culture-Savvy Libraries or Source of Information Overload. As you may remember, I had the privilege of presenting with Sarah Houghton-Jan;, the Librarian in Black; she was Source of Information Overload.

Washington State Library posted Internet Librarian, Day 4 – Wednesday, Oct 28 2009 – #IL2009.

Eclectic Librarian posted IL2009: Technology: The Engine Driving Pop Culture-Savvy Libraries or Source of Overload?

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RIP, Ray Browne

Ray Browne, who is credited with making popular culture into an academic field, has passed away. Beginning in 1973, when he founded the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University, he did much to encourage the study of popular culture.

Obituary from the New York Times



Pop Goes the Library at Internet Librarian

Are you going to the Internet Librarian 2009 Conference?

Then you have two chances to meet me, you lucky person, you!

First, on Monday, October 26? I'll be at a Meet the Authors program.

Second, I'll be giving a presentation on Wednesday October 28 with Sarah Houghton-Jan, Digital Futures Manager, San Jose Public Library author of LibrarianInBlack.net, called Technology: The Engine Driving Pop Culture-Savvy Libraries or Source of Overload?

Technology often drives pop culture trends like iPhone mania and texting addictions, and it can also be used to improve all kinds of library services when we embrace the idea that information technology is everyone’s job. By establishing a tech-friendly atmosphere, libraries can harness the latest real-world and web-based techno tools to engage customers in an ongoing discussion to identify and meet the pop cultural & life-learning needs of their communities. Find out how to use trendspotting, experimentation, and continuous training to create a technological sandbox at your library and hear about creative strategies and practical, imaginative solutions from the field for you to use in your community. Then hear how to deal with information load through ten principles including organizational techniques, how to filter your input, time and stress management, managing overload in different media: email, RSS, interruptive technologies, the telephone, print media, multimedia, and social networks. Come away with a plan for tackling your own mound (physical or virtual) of overload!

Stop by, say "hi." Tell me I sent you.

cross posted at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

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YA NaNoWriMo Contest

So, this is pretty awesome: you may be familiar with NaNoWriMo (stands for National Novel Writing Month, celebrated in November -- participants attempt to, well, complete a draft of a novel in that 30-day period).

Well, the Gotham Writers' Workshop, in conjunction with Sourcebooks and the Serendipity Literary Agency, is co-sponsoring the Young Adult Novel Discovery Contest. Got a great title and 250 stellar first words? Submit them at no cost, for a chance to win a workshop from GWW, and/or a pitch session with YA literary agent Regina Brooks!

Go get 'em, writers!

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Got Research?

If you do, YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) has money for you! And it is just a grant application away.

Someone has to be awarded the grant; why not you? And by "you", I mean any member of "YALSA, including student members, although the research project may be undertaken by an individual, an institution, or by a group."

Anyway, here are the details (YALSA's wording):

The 2010 Frances Henne/YALSA/VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) Research Grant

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest growing division of the American Library Association (ALA) is offering the Frances Henne/YALSA/VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) Research Grant for 2010. This grant of $1000 provides seed money for small-scale projects that will encourage research that responds to the YALSA Research Agenda.

Details regarding the applications for the 2010 Frances Henne YALSA/VOYA Research Grant are available from the YALSA Web site at http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/awardsandgrants/franceshenne.cfm

Applications for the grant are due in the YALSA Office by Dec. 1.

For more information please contact us via e-mail, yalsa@ala.org or by phone, 800-545-2433 x 4387.

So go, check out the requirements, print out the application!

Cross posted at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

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Offering and Allowing Support

About a week ago (October 1, 2009 to be specific) was "Support Our 'Zines Day" (SOZD). What does that mean? To quote Damien G. Walter (SOZD's creator):
‘zines need support. Professional ‘zines rely on subscriptions to pay their staff and the writers who make the stories. Smaller ‘zines often rely on donations just to cover their costs. But with the speed of life in the 21st Century it can be difficult to remember to renew subsciptions or make donations to the ‘zines who’s work we enjoy.
Damien included all sorts of magazine in this, from professional newsstand magazines Asimov's and F&SF down to smaller specialty publications like Shimmer and Sybil's Garage to DIY bare bones projects like Kaleidotrope and Brain Harvest. Damien is a big proponent of short fiction. In addition to being a writer, he writes about short fiction and science fiction for The Guardian.

I, being the editor of a Hugo Award winning zine, thought this was a great idea. And while subscriptions and renewals and monetary donations are great, that's not something everyone can do, so I suggested people could even just send them a note to say, "Hey, I like what you're doing!"

Even better, my assistant editor suggested that you could volunteer to help. I really like this idea. Who couldn't use some help? And with the way things work online these days, there are a of ways you could help a favorite magazine/zine even if you don't live near them (one of my submission readers lives in New Zealand, and we've never met face-to-face).

The more I thought about it, I wondered how easy it would be to volunteer for someone. I suspect many places do not have any plan in place on how to handle volunteers. In fact, I think that many places would actually be resistant to volunteers because of the work involved in finding them work/teaching them what to do. And how disappointing would that be, to volunteer to help and be told no? Many professional workplaces have limited to no ability to allow people to volunteer for them.

What about libraries? I constantly hear/read about how librarians are over-worked. How easy is it for someone to volunteer at your library? The public library I work at has a page on their website about volunteering. They even have someone on staff who is there to take care of volunteer requests. All the same, there's probably only a small set of jobs that pre-exist for volunteers to do and I don't know how much flexibility the staff person has in creating new work.

Volunteering has two sides to it. The volunteer, in a best-case scenario, should come with a clear idea of the type of work they hope to do. This way, even if they can't do exactly what they'd like to do (i.e., answer questions at the reference desk) you can devise something they can do. This is true for any industry. Let's say you wanted to help a magazine. Don't go to them saying "What can I do?" since they may not have an answer. Go to them saying "I'd like to help with X" and see what they can do to make that happen.

On the library's side, in addition to having a basic set of volunteer opportunities, try to think of other things you've got going on that volunteers could accomplish for you. Switching to RFID tags? Moving your website to a new template/platform? Need to do inventory or shelf-reading? Are your reader's advisories out-of-date or need more copies made? How about your vertical files?

Yes, some of these jobs are, let's say, not glamorous, but they need to be done, and you can talk to the person afterwards to see what they thought of the work. They might be able to better elaborate on what they want to do for the library, and you will have a better sense what this person is capable of.

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