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.


Behold, The Power of Pop

Sometimes, all it takes to win over a kid is an exchange like this:

Kid: I need a copy of The Outsiders.

Me: Sure, I'll show you were to find it. [we walk together to the spinning racks of paperbacks.] Okay, what have we got here, Hinton, Hinton, Hinton. Well, here's Taming The Star Runner, which is sort of like Homestar Runner, but different.

Kid [flabbergasted]: You like Homestar Runner?

Me [using best Strongbad voice and finding his book at the same time]: Yes, of course I love Homestar! And I love The Outsiders! Have you heard my album? It is the greatest of all time! Oh, and here's your book.

Kid [rapid-fire]: Thanks! I haven't heard it yet. Do you have it here? Do you read the Strongbad e-mails? I once wrote to him, and he wrote back, but didn't really answer my question. This library is way better than I thought. [to his friend, sotto voce, as they walk away] She's actually kind of cool.

Me [silently]: Yesssss!

Totally baffled? Try the Homestar Wiki. Goodness, but the Internet so rules.


  • At 7:14 PM, Blogger rochelle hartman said…


    Once in awhile it does backfire, though, and you lose even more credibility when some kids see you as a little too desperate to seem cool. But, maybe that only happens when you reach a certain age.

  • At 8:49 PM, Blogger Sophie Brookover said…

    Oh, I'm sure that day of Trying Too Hardness (to be followed immediately by the dreaded Eyeroll of Dismissal) is only a few years away. (Happily, I don't regard myself as cool even now -- I'm really too enthusiastic to be cool.) I was particularly pleased that the Kid caught my Homestar Runner reference, because I was sort of talking to myself when I said it. I tend to keep up a quiet patter with patrons; this one just had a really great outcome.

  • At 6:29 PM, Blogger Beatrice said…

    double squee!! A Mr. Cash & Rick Rubin collaboration was in heavy 'ro in player today during the more productive part of my day. I also heard SV's ode to 20th century love last week and was moved and appalled by the back story of Ring of Fire (much of it I've known, but SV has a way of repurposing facts that makes it more interesting. Read her Radio On by the way if you haven't already.) I also share a fascination with Seu Jorge/Anderson flicks/Bowie. You've almost revealed enough about your pop culty leanings to make me share my movie boyfriends tome.


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