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.


Adapting to New Technology

Now, I'm not technoAmish, but in the same breath, I usually have to feel like a new gadget is actually useful to me before I'll plunk down my hard-earned money for it. I have a first-generation iPod shuffle, but that was the first iPod I bought; it took me another year to commit to a video iPod. I have both a laptop and a desktop, but they're both on the old side and I'm definitely hoping to replace them soon. And I have no intention of ever getting an iPhone, although I already know that when my Verizon Wireless New Every Two option comes up early next year, I'm getting this smartphone.

With all that being said? My DVR is fantastic. :-) When I got my cable set up for my new apartment, I added the DVR as a bit of a whim; I've always been perfectly capable of setting up my VCR, but after three years of having two shows I watched scheduled opposite each other, I was getting tired of dealing with time shifting. So, I went for the DVR, and even though the fall TV season hasn't started yet, I'm already in love. I've been able to see plenty of the U.S. Open, even though I work during the day, because I've been DVRing the coverage on USA and CBS. When I get home, I can fast-forward through boring matches and commericals, and rewind to see that unbelievable shot. Plus, I can DVR the night matches while I'm still watching the day coverage.

In addition, I can record programs to watch later, without feeling this burden of having to watch it right away or having tapes clutter up my very small entertainment center. I have High School Musical 2 sitting on my DVR, and now that I've gotten the first HSM from Netflix, I have plans for a little marathon of singing & dancing teens.

And speaking of Netflix, it's awesome, too! I had never needed it before, because the library systems I worked for collected all sorts of DVDs. But at my new library, they don't believe in competing with Blockbuster, so they don't collect feature films made in the last five years. So I've started using Netflix for those films, but they have so much more! I'm particularly loving the chance to see tons of British television shows that I could only hear about before.

So ever so slowly, I'm getting introduced to new technology and gadgets. How about y'all? Will you immediately jump on the bandwagon, or do you take some convincing? And if you need a reason, what works and what doesn't?

How does this connect to libraries, you ask? So many patrons feel bombarded by new technology; it's important that we're aware of what's out there, even if you're not using it yourself and will never use it. And these new technologies can have effects on library services; after all, no one would have expected libraries, amongst groups and individuals, to be podcasting when the iPod was introduced. So keep your eyes open for new gadgets and gizmos, and you just might find something that will change your library.

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  • At 12:00 PM, Blogger Liz B said…

    I agree, what's important isn't that we know how to do it all, but that we're aware.

    That said, isn't the DVR awesome? I love that I watch what I went when I want to; and that makes me wonder, is that what patrons want from libraries and how can we deliver that? Maybe it's impossible (like your new place of work saying they won't compete with blockbusters). But it's worthwhile to think about it.

    I also love that having a DVR does clean up the clutter of tapes, etc.


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