October 20, 2015 at 2:11 pm #2653Jennifer CottonParticipant
The final IFN614 Twitter Chat discussed the topic of Culture and Pop Culture in the library context. For me, there were 2 important concepts;
- Pop Culture cannot be defined
- The line between community centres and libraries is becoming increasingly blurred
Briefly, pop culture is determined by the interactions between people in their everyday life. It can mean different things to different people but influences modern slang, foods and fashion. Community centres are public locations where members of a community hold events, activities and other purposes. The centres may be owned by the community, government, corporate sponsors or supported by private philanthropists. Traditionally, Libraries are a place which holds a collection of some sort and its contents are available for browsing or borrowing for leisure or research purposes.
One question which struck a chord with me was “Does brining pop culture into the library keep libraries relevant to young people or is it a gimmick?” This question carries a lot of weight as it was mentioned in the Twitter chat there is nothing more cringeworthy for a young person to see a middle-aged person attempt rapping in an effort to be seen as being ‘cool’. The consensus among the commentators was if libraries are well versed in pop culture, a library can remain relevant and appealing to the general public.
An example of how referring to pop culture can keep something relevant is the ‘The Simpsons’. The show references other shows, movies and people. Remember when Bart stole Homer’s jar of change? Homer chased him and rolled down the Simpson’s stair case like the boulder in Indiana Jones. Many commentators agree pop culture references such as these are a key reason why the show lasted for 25 years (despite this blogger believing the show stopped being funny many, many years ago). The general consensus on the Twitter Chat agreed pop culture references provide a connection and inspiration to people. Libraries can remain relevant by welcoming pop culture.
The second question which drew my attention was “Where do we draw the line on types of magazines in the library?” It seemed very few commentators read ‘trashy’ magazines, however, after suggestions the ‘trashy’ magazines unworthy for libraries many commentators came to the magazines’ defence. A popular tweet came from The Librarian Idol who wrote:
<p style=”text-align: center;”>A5: Why does it have to be considered a gateway to other more “worthy” culture? Can’t we have it for its own sake? #ifn614culturechat</p>
Many commentators agreed libraries should provide for all fringes of society. Traditional and eclectic interests, crafts and hobbies (including the controversial adult colouring in classes) should be accommodated in the library. Public meeting rooms are available for interest groups to meet, share and participate in their hobbies or crafts. In this regard, it appears libraries are becoming community hubs, as well as informational centres.
Judging by the final IFN614 Twitter chat, it seems libraries’ have evolved since the stereotypical image of a quiet, stuffy place with lots of old books. It is a welcoming, engaging and fun place, where there are no limits to knowledge and imagination.
October 22, 2015 at 1:27 pm #2678Deborah FullerParticipant
I read your post with interest Jennifer, as I had to work whilst the chat was on, although I caught some in my break. It is a good summary of the chat and the main themes. it really summarises how libraries are community hubs and not just reading rooms anymore. Your final sentence sums it up beautifully.
October 23, 2015 at 10:34 am #2685Shannon FranzwayParticipant
I like the idea of the line being blurry between public libraries and community centres. They both have the public in common. On the Gold Coast, my 3 nearest libraries are co-located with community centres – I think the co-location would assist with driving patronage to both. Win-win!
October 23, 2015 at 11:26 am #2688Shannon FranzwayParticipant
Oh, and I am physically cringing at the thought of a middle aged person attempting to rap in front of a young person, but just a thought, the original rappers are themselves approaching middle age (Dr Dre was born in 1965, Snoop Dogg in 1971), so it’s not completely strange that the disparate age groups might share taste in music? Disclaimer – whilst I knew the names of the aforementioned rappers, I did have to Google their ages!
October 26, 2015 at 6:52 am #2762Katherine LeeParticipant
Great post Jenny! I loved your title, it made me giggle 🙂
I was interested when reading the Twitter chat in the discussion about trashy magazines and also found the Library Idol’s comment interesting. As an aside, during the week I found this really interesting article on the NY Review of Books website discussion whether reading ‘trash’ is a stepping stone to reading ‘literature’. It’s a great article, I would highly recommend it. Reading Upwards
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