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.


TV @ Your Library

Question: What do the following have in common: Deadwood; Gilmore Girls; Charmed; All in the Family.
Answer: All of these are TV shows available on DVD that are available at my library.

If you're interested in adding TV to your library collection, here are a few hints: break up the multidisc sets; clearly mark and label the sets so that people know they are getting disc 1 of 3; decide on collection guidelines.

Cost: If your library is already buying movies on DVD, why not TV shows? Gilmore Girls retails at $60 for the first season: 22 episodes on six discs, which becomes 6 items for your collection. National Treasure retails at $30.00 for one disc which is 1 item for your collection. Compared to movies, TV shows do not cost more. The difficult decision is not about buying TV shows on DVD; its about which shows to buy. Some "cult" TV shows like Farscape have fans that are so dedicated to their show that that they have Library Projects to supply libraries with free DVDs.

Marketing and Promotion. Our catalog includes an option of seeing what is new in DVD/Video, including new TV shows. Other than that, we haven't had to do any advertising, promoting, or marketing – the titles fly off the shelves, the hold lists are full.

Benefits: In addition to increased circ, you have happy library customers who know you respect their viewing tastes.

Cross Marketing Your Collection: There are, of course, the obvious – the media tie ins for these shows, like music CDs, the Gilmore Girls books, or the Book of Shadows .

With a little creativity and some knowledge of the show, you can do great displays beyond the name tie-ins. If you're not familiar with the shows, someone in the library will be; otherwise, the Internet has a tremendous amount of resources.

For music, find out what songs and artists have been on the show and create a "Music Featured On ...." display that goes beyond the official CD.

For books, try a "read a like" display: "If you like the show Gilmore Girls, you'll love these books" and include novels with mother-daughter relationships or quirky hometowns. For historical shows like Deadwood: "The Truth About Deadwood" can highlight nonfiction books. Pretend you're doing Readers Advisory for a character in the show: "Cookbooks Sookie Would Love"; "Wiccan Books and Novels for the Charmed Sisters."


  • At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    a guy came to the reference desk a few weeks ago and said "duuuuuuude, do you like, have any HR Pufnstuf videos, maaaaaan?"
    whether he was bill or ted, i'm not sure...


  • At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "H.R. Pufnstuf, who's your friend when things get rough? H.R. Pufnstuf, can't do a little, 'cause you can't do enough." Jimmy and his magic flute. They don't make TV like that anymore.

    -- Liz B.


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