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Pop Goes the Library: The Book

Book News Round-Up

Judith Seiss has published a glowing review of PGTL, which you can read here. Thank you, Judy! We’re blushing over here!

The book is temporarily out of stock at Amazon. Please consider purchasing directly from Information Today while Amazon re-stocks! Our publisher is selling the book for 50 full cents cheaper than Amazon!

I went to the post office today and sent off a large stack of review & gift copies. I sent them Book Rate, with Delivery Confirmation, so I will be obsessively entering 16-digit strings at usps.com til I see they’ve all arrived.

We’ve heard that Library Journal will run a review in its November 15th issue — we’ll keep you posted!

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Our First Review!

The first online review of Pop Goes the Library: the book comes from the brand new blog, In the Library with a Lead Pipe.

It’s the type of review that makes an author’s heart sing. The reviewer “gets it.” Plus, there are great suggestions for the second edition. (I know! Talk about a reviewer thinking ahead!)

I, of course, want to post the entire thing. But instead I’ll include this:

Sophie Brookover and Elizabeth Burns’s Pop Goes the Library is part textbook and part manifesto.

And a paragraph that captures the meat of the book:

There is a message, and that message is important, but Brookover and Burns have decided not to dress that message up in theory or historical context. Instead, they focus on combining practical advice with serious fun: Melanie Griffith’s character in Working Girl provides an example of applied research; Angelina Jolie’s transformation from wild child into latter day Mia Farrow illustrates good public relations; and Johnny Cash, David Bowie, martinis, and iPods are listed as celebrities and trends that are Cool (Kenny Chesney, KC & the Sunshine Band, cosmopolitans, and Zunes are Not Cool).

And a paragraph that captures the heart of the book (along with some nice things about our writing style):

If you’re not interested in pop culture, it may be tempting to dismiss the importance of this book’s message or to overlook its ambitiousness. That would be a mistake: Brookover and Burns cover most of the important lessons on librarianship that can be taught in a book: creating a niche; building a collection; using technology; and developing crowd-pleasing programming, among others. As an added bonus, their writing style is as much fun to read as Michael Buckland, S.R. Ranganathan, Jesse Shera, or Elaine Svenonius. (Speaking of pop culture: does anyone know if Elaine is related to Ian?)

Read the full review here.

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Copies On the Way!

While both Sophie and I live in New Jersey, we don’t live close to each other.

If we did, it would be dangerous, as I’m sure things like Printz reading, work, and cleaning would never get done.

We planned to get together late September to sign copies of our books, inscribe messages, and send them out to people.

What happened instead was I woke up to discover this

Aswering the question, “If a tree limb falls in a storm and crashes into three cars right outside Liz’s bedroom window, will she wake up?”

In case you haven’t guessed, the correct answer is, “No, especially if she has taken Tylenol PM.”

Which means that it wasn’t until yesterday that our schedules were such that we could get together in person for the signing and mailing.

Meanwhile, if you are interested in a review copy, let us know and we’ll see what we can do!

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WorldCat Pops

I’m discovering all the things that new authors do, as their book goes out into the universe. And they wait….

Today’s fun thing:

WorldCat. As most of already know, WorldCat is “the world’s largest network of library content and services. WorldCat libraries are dedicated to providing access to their resources on the Web, where most people start their search for information.” It’s provided by OCLC. 

For authors, it’s the way to find out which libraries own your books with one easy search. I was pleased as punch to discover that over 40 libraries have added Pop:The Book to their collections!

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Wiki: Chapter 8 Websites

The Pop Goes the Library Wiki contains the full Appendix A (Core Pop Culture Resources for Library Professionals) and Appendix D (Websites Listed In Chapter Order) found in the book.

Here’s where you can find the list of Chapter 8 Websites from Appendix D.

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Wiki: Chapter 7 Websites

The Pop Goes the Library Wiki contains the full Appendix A (Core Pop Culture Resources for Library Professionals) and Appendix D (Websites Listed In Chapter Order) found in the book.

Here’s where you can find the list of Chapter 7 Websites from Appendix D.

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Book Preview: Pop Culture Outreach

I was going to go in TOC order with these previews, but Lara Z. did such a nice job of setting up the discussion for this topic in her comments to the first Book Preview post that I thought we’d just move on and see where the conversation takes us. So, on to Chapter 4: Advocacy, Marketing, PR & Outreach!

Liz & I use the example of a nascent graphic novels collection for kids throughout the book, both for continuity, and because we’re hearing about and seeing more & more GNs better suited to a J (juvenile) classification than YA or adult. We discuss this kind of collection from both the point of view of the GN advocate and the GN skeptic, and while it’s no secret whose side we’re on, we are sensitive to the concerns of the skeptics, and we think practicing your advocacy, marketing, PR and outreach skills every day is the best way to rally community members & colleagues within your library to your cause.

Here’s a taste of how we view outreach on behalf of this kind of pop culture collection, and the benefits it may bring to your library’s services:

When you built your pop culture collection, you didn’t start from scratch. You used existing collection development staff, policies, and resources to create a collection that fits your community’s interests. Now use the same strategy for outreach. Pull out your library’s current policies, guidelines, and other existing outreach tools. Consult resources such as the tipsheets provided by ALA’s Office for Literacy and Outreach Services ). Look at your pop culture initiative and start brainstorming groups, people, events, and places to visit. Start with the ideas you had when you launched the initiative, but think bigger!

[...]

Ask yourself,where do your comics-loving patrons go? Is there a county, state, or other nearby convention that they look forward to? Add that gathering to your “to-visit”list. Remember:You don’t have to do this alone. Sit down with staff to brainstorm outreach possibilities and preferred outcomes. Do you want to make connections with parents, so that they know that reading comic books can actually improve literacy scores? Do you want to generate excitement about the new collection among kids and teens? Do you want to develop a mechanism for soliciting collection input and book reviews from patrons? Do you want to establish a relationship with a local comics shop? Write it all down, and don’t censor yourself. We understand there are only so many hours in the day, someone has to stay in the branch, and it takes time to plan all those programs. Still, we encourage you to shut off your inner naysayer. For now, just brainstorm: The sky is the limit. Put down as many ideas as you can think of. You can prioritize later.

Continuing with our comics collection example, your list of outreach possibilities could include:

  • Public and private schools, including art teachers, English teachers, reading specialists, related school clubs, activities, and publications
  • Parent-teacher organizations
  • Parenting groups
  • Homeschoolers
  • Local art schools
  • Art galleries
  • Comic book shops
  • Bookstores
  • Comics and manga conventions and associations (local, county, or state)
  • Authors, artists, and illustrators

We admit, that’s a pretty long list. Now think about why you want to talk to each group, using this process to help you determine your top outreach priorities. If you’re hosting a contest to help promote the collection, talking to art teachers may be your first priority—not only could you ask the art teachers to promote the contest to their students, but you could invite them to judge the contest, too. If your main concern is letting parents and concerned adults know the value of comic books (beyond the obvious—readers love them!),then target parent-affiliated groups first. When brainstorming with staff, ask them about any connections they might have. If you have a comic book lover on staff who visits the local comic shop weekly to pick up new titles, use that connection to build your relationship with local experts (and maybe negotiate a discount on bulk purchases!).

Many of you who responded to our survey told us about the kinds of outreach strategies you use at your libraries, and many of those suggestions are in the book.  Of course, we are always excited to hear about & share more ideas with our colleagues, so what are you up to? We’d love for you to share your top tips, your most mortifying disasters (feel free to go anonymous with those, if you’d prefer), and your assessment of why this stuff works.

Note to everyone who responded to the survey: we’ll be extolling your invaluable contributions to our book in a future post!

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Wiki: Chapter 6 Websites

The Pop Goes the Library Wiki contains the full Appendix A (Core Pop Culture Resources for Library Professionals) and Appendix D (Websites Listed In Chapter Order) found in the book.

Here’s where you can find the list of Chapter 6 Websites from Appendix D.

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Wiki: Chapter 5 Websites

The Pop Goes the Library Wiki contains the full Appendix A (Core Pop Culture Resources for Library Professionals) and Appendix D (Websites Listed In Chapter Order) found in the book.

Here’s where you can find the list of Chapter 5 Websites from Appendix D.

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What Angelina Jolie Can Teach You About Libraries

Yes, you read that right. Check our index and you’ll see “Jolie, Angelina 62-63″.

Curious about what Angelina has to do with libraries?

How about fandom (163-165), Working Girl (100-101), or Rachael Ray (12, 214)?

Only one way to find out…

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