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.


Fluffy Idea Friday: Brangelina

So, Brangelina. For those of you who avoid the gossip rags, that'd be the contraction of Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie, the sizzling It Couple Du Jour, who've just had their first child together, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, in Namibia. At a time when many celebrities head for Cedars-Sinai Hospital in LA to have their babies, Namibia might seem, well, a quirky choice. And the name! Shiloh Nouvel? What, Nouvelle wasn't good enough? They have to change the spelling around?

What does this have to do with libraries? Well, for one, celebrity gossip is the sticky, sweet, caramelized center of the bonbon variety of pop culture. Even if people only encounter photos and news of Brangelina in the supermarket check-out line, they're still thinking about Brangelina and their progeny at least once a week. Which means that we should be thinking about Brangelina, too. And what better opportunity for libraries to show a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor than to compile a Brangelina display?

  • Recent copies of People and US Weekly magazines (other gossip magazines, like In Touch and the National Enquirer are good, too);
  • All the baby-naming books you can find on your shelves;
  • Map of Africa, with Namibia highlighted;
  • Many photocopies of a fast-fact sheet on Namibia (use that Facts on File subscription!);
  • Back-issues of National Geographic with feature articles on Namibia;
  • Africa-related travel, history, photography, and arts books;
  • Some space on a table or expanse of slat-wall shelving;
  • A sign bearing the legend, "The Anytown Public Library Presents: Brangelina!", or similar.

Arrange in an attractive manner, fill in as necessary, enjoy comments from the public. If nothing else, it'll be a conversation piece.