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Libraries & Pop Culture: Discuss

Back in September, Sophie Brookover, a children's and young adults' librarian and founder of the blog Pop Goes the Library, wrote about blogging and popular culture  for Library Journal. She lays out some ground rules for making better connections with teen patrons, starting off with the following, which gave me my first laugh of the day.

Let's get over ourselves

Being culture snobs earns us no points in the eyes of our public. Don't flinch when someone asks for a book about NASCAR, the latest 50 Cent CD, or a Left Behind film. You don't know what else that patron likes to read, or why he's asking for that item. My sister's housemate loves NASCAR like he loves oxygen. He's also got a Ph.D. in paleontology. Lesson: if we ignore popular trends in publishing, music, movies, and TV, we risk making libraries and librarianship superfluous, and we alienate potential library champions.

There's more astute advice in Brookover's article. Do go read it for yourselves.


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I'm reminded of this quote from Patrick Jones' piece in Guys Write for Guys Read:

"As I go to check out my books, I summon up all my twelve-year-old courage and ask the librarian if the library has any wrestling magazines. That is what I thought I asked; instead I think I asked her to show me what her face would look like if she sucked on a lemon for a hundred years."

(Thanks to The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books)

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