Cupcakes are a fad. Lady Gaga is a fad. Icing your bros is a fad. What will be tomorrow's big fad? NPR's Linda Holmes has an answer: Libraries. American pop culture is about to be all about libraries, she predicts. "Call it a hunch, but it seems to me that the thing is in the air that happens right before something--families with a million kids, cupcakes, wedding coordinators--suddenly becomes the thing everyone wants to do happy-fuzzy pop-culture stories about." She lays out six reasons why libraries are the new cupcake, some of which are more convincing than others.
- 'Libraries Get In Fights' "Everybody likes a scrapper, and between the funding battles they're often found fighting and the body-checking involved in their periodic struggles over sharing information, there's a certain pleasantly plucky quality to the current perception of libraries and librarians."
- 'Librarians Know Stuff' "This alone might not make libraries cool, but it takes away from the sense that they're actively not cool."
- 'Libraries Are Green and Local' "You can pretty easily position a library as environmentally friendly (your accumulation of books and magazines you are not reading is fewer trees for the rest of us, you know), not to mention economical (obvious) and part of your local culture."
- 'Libraries Will Give You Things for Free' A solid point by Holmes.
- Libraries Would Make Great Reality TV "This is where you get the spark of an idea for TLC or somebody to do some goofball show called The Stacks, which follows a small local library through funding problems, trying to get book clubs started, whatever. ... This is where you might get your drama."
- People Have 'Goodwill' For Libraries "Quite honestly, I feel like you can go on YouTube and act like a complete goof (in the best way), and if it's for libraries, people have that same rush of warmth that they used to get about people who had sextuplets."
Not convinced? Check out this YouTube spoof of the beloved Old Spice ads, which promotes the library at Brigham Young University. On the other hand, one Fox News reporter has come out strongly against libraries. Has the backlash already begun before libraries even became cool?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.