October 13, 2016

#KenBone: A pop culture/readers’ advisory fusion

We heard you loud and clear, NoveList subscribers. The enthusiasm generated by our recent Pop Culture webcast showed us that readers' advisory librarians clearly see the benefit of using pop culture to engage library patrons. When the public is already talking, tweeting, and making memes about something, use that energy to draw readers to your collection.

Take Ken Bone, for example. One day, he's just an average American citizen, working at the coal mines. The next, his red sweater, mustache, positive energy, and interest in our country's welfare captivate 163,000 twitter followers and audiences everywhere. You can use this (probably temporary) viral pop culture figure to make a display, using two of our products: the NoveList Plus database and LibraryAware.

Ken Bone

First, search NoveList for the keywords Ken Bone is already famous for: mustache, energy* (captures any subjects with the word and anything after), coal, photography, making decisions, voting, and going viral.

Once you’ve collected these seemingly disparate books, print the display flyer to create a nonpartisan, timely display that brings the election, Ken Bone, and pop culture into your library. While the flyer is amusing and fun, it also helps you move your backlist, especially books that might not be obvious candidates for display.

But don't wait too long. Pop culture, though powerful, is fleeting, and all too soon, interest in Ken Bone will fade. Then it's time to move on to something new. Fads may come and go, but this NoveList strategy is timeless.    

Lindsey Dunn is an Editor/Bibliographer at NoveList. She's a kidlit expert and creates resources for all the librarians out there grappling with keeping up with what books kids are reading. Want to hear more from her? Sign up for Lindsey's Book Squad email updates.

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