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.


Awards Nominations

It's the most wonderful time of the year: awards season is upon us. The Golden Globes nominees were announced yesterday. (Parenthetical time-out for a personal beef: okay, I sort of get the failure to nominate Ian McShane last year for his role in Deadwood, but this year? The man is a thespianic god, and the lack of nomination love is both wrong and sad. At least the toothsome & talented Wentworth Miller got a nod for his riveting work in Prison Break.) The Grammy Awards nominees were also recently announced.

I love awards shows for their glamour, their often unintentional hilarity, and their pageantry, but I am starting to wonder about what they actually mean. Are they about films and music we do enjoy? Are they about films and music we should enjoy? Are they just ego-strokefests for the artists, their studios and labels?

For example, Brokeback Mountain (commonly and reductively referred to as "the gay cowboy movie") received the most Golden Globe nominations. Now, I am very much looking forward to this movie, as it has a killer pedigree -- directed by Ang Lee, with a script by Larry McMurtry based on a short story by E. Annie Proulx -- and promises to be both swoony and teary, a combination I find irresistible. But how many people are like me? How many people are going to go see a movie about the tragic, doomed love between Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal? Is the Hollywood Foreign Press telling us all to be less uptight about love? Or are they just honoring what is, by all accounts, a very well made movie? Or maybe a bit of both?

As another example, we have Mariah Carey and her gajillion nomination-receiving comeback album, The Emancipation of Mimi. I know her album has sold millions upon millions of copies this year, and that the Grammys have never really been about what's best in popular music, but are they even about what's most popular in popular music? Now that we can download nearly any song we want, from any genre, sub-genre, and sub-sub-genre we want, from iTunes and other similar services, is there such a thing as The Most Popular Album or Song anymore? Or rather, does releasing The Most Popular Album have the same meaning as it used to have?

I'm thinking out loud here, clearly, and in my baby-wrangling, sleep-deprived state, I'm having a hard time seeing a link to library service. I know it's there. Let me sleep on it & get back to you all.


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