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.


Three Things About Tom & Katie & Libraries

Unless you are rigorous in your avoidance of celebrity gossip, you could hardly remain unaware of the Cruise/Holmes nuptials of last weekend. What does this have to do with libraries? Well, plenty.

  1. First, there's the opportunity to address the now-commonplace issue of interfaith marriage. This is a topic well covered by Jewish authors, but it's not just of concern to my fellow MOTs. It was reportedly a big issue with Katie Holmes' parents, who are Roman Catholic, as she was marrying the world's most famous Scientologist. Interfaith marriages of all kinds are increasingly common, and now is a good time to display all of your "Introduction To World Faiths" books & videos.
  2. Big, splashy celebrity weddings are hardly a new thing. I am of the opinion that most people just like weddings, plain & simple, and the opportunity to attend vicariously a very schmancy wedding without the obligation to purchase a correspondingly schmancy gift is close to irresistible. Why not create an event around reminiscences of weddings? These could be landmark weddings, like those of Princess Grace and Charles & Diana, and they should include weddings of regular people like you, your staff, and your patrons. This has the potential to be a wonderful intergenerational program, as well -- get your Greatest Generation WWII brides to talk about their plans alongside today's brides. Ask everyone to pull their gowns out of storage & display them, too!
  3. Then, of course, there's the fashion aspect, which intersects tightly with the celebrity gossip aspect, all mixed up with the fact that neither of these things are what you'd call new. My first interest in the TomKat nuptials (okay, my second interest -- first, I'd like to read the prenup, which I'm sure will hit The Smoking Gun soon.) is what Katie wore. Most of my fellow female celeb gossip addicts take the same view: the wedding wardrobe sends a message about...well, about everything: the couple's wealth, their taste, their view of what weddings and marriage are. Somehow, we all feel we have a stake in this big wedding, and a right to comment on it (see: this here blog post). If your library has a collection of celebrity gossip magazines of the day, and if you can convince your patrons to rummage through their attics for their vintage ones, well, you've got another fun and informative display on your hands.
Other ideas for connecting with your patrons using the year's biggest celebrity wedding? Leave 'em in the comments!


  • At 11:49 AM, Blogger Liz B said…

    Don't forget the getting married in another country aspect and displays about that. And there are issues about second marriages (this is Mr Cruise's third time down the aisle) and stepchildren, both of which can result in serious displays (books) or fun displays (many films are set up around humorous family dynamics.)

  • At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Being a crazy engaged person, I could see a nice display entitled "How to Have a Celebrity Wedding" with books and magazines on wedding planning, budgeting, DIY projects, fancy dresses, etc. I might also have to create some handouts that explain how to get a marriage license in your local town, Vegas, Cancun... =)

  • At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It might also be cool to celebrate successful, happy people who *aren't* married. Send a message, especially to girls and young women, that getting married is great if that's what works for you, but making other choices in your life is OK too. It might be interesting to do both - a program about wedding gowns one week, for example, followed by something more non-traditional the next.

  • At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It would also be interesting to look at the legality issue. Italy doesn't recognize scientology weddings as legal - so are they really married or not?

  • At 3:33 PM, Blogger Sophie Brookover said…

    mbk, they got married legally in CA the week before the Roman Holiday, so yeah, they're really married.

    Jill, that's a very good point about celebrating not getting married. I certainly didn't think I'd get married as young as I did, and goodness knows the old maid stereotype is beyond outmoded. Programming and/or displays about creating your own traditions is a great idea!


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