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.


Neighborhoodies: Clothing 2.0

Sophie is a ROCKSTAR!
Originally uploaded by mstephens7.
Ever since the photo of me wearing this sweatshirt ran in Library Journal, I've been getting questions, via e-mail and in person, about where I got it. This morning, when Michael asked me where I got it, I had a little lightbulb moment: blog the sweatshirt!

I don't know why I didn't blog this sooner: it's so easy to blog it & then send the links to folks who send me queries. Better still, it's a perfect example of what we pop culture librarians & library 2.0 aficionados are so het up about -- a deeply satisfying customizable experience.

I bought the sweatshirt as a 30th birthday present for myself last summer from Neighborhoodies.com, which bills itself, rightly, as "The most brilliant yet simple fashion idea of this decade".

For those who want to slavishly gank it, my model is a slate gray skii with light blue stitched lettering in lowercase goth. That's fine, but know that, like a great 2.0 experience online or in the library, all neighborhoodies are infinitely customizable. The company adds new fonts all the time, now offers pressed (fancy-speak for iron-on) letters as well as stitched ones, many colors, a bunch of different shirts, sweatshirts, onesies, underwear, and so on. Anything you can imagine on a t-shirt or sweatshirt is something you can get on a t-shirt or sweatshirt.

Michael & I were riffing about all the different shirts we could use, give as gifts, or make for ourselves:

"I survived Sophie's Pop Culture Workshop"
2.0 Librarian
Reference = Hot (on the front) IM Reference = Smokin' Hot (on the back)
Do You Flickr? (on the front) NJLA does! (on the back)
Got Podcasts?
Anytown Public Library Teen Advisory Board

You name it, you can have it (for a price, of course). Neighborhoodies will even let you submit your own graphics. Can you imagine your library's logo on t-shirts? Could be something fab for Staff Day, fundraisers, or prizes to raffle off at your programs! These things aren't bargain-priced, but it might be a nice morale booster (to say nothing of a wonderful marketing tool -- my Neighborhoodie is such an amazing conversation-starter!), and one your Friends of the Library group could help pay for.

How much customization of the Library Experience does your library offer? This is what people want, it's happening now, and it's not going away. Are you ready?


  • At 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    digging your rockstar shirt.

    i'll be rocking two libraries this summer, i should make one of those shirts!

    if you are in the area, we are tearing up the belleville library on 8/21 and the brick library 8/31.

    rockkkkkk on!


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