Last post I commented on how the New York Public Library has become a gathering place for electronic enthusiasts who never feel a need to bother a librarian. Most of the patrons I observed were focused intently on computerized devices. An indication of the library’s struggle for relevancy can be found on their website. The above the fold promos are for The Beatles and Tax Day, April 15, neither of which is what one would normally associate with arguably the country’s second most important center of literature and research material. (I put the Library of Congress in first place.)
Other front-page teasers include:
“Make ‘Em laugh: Gut busting Picture Books—NYPL's Elizabeth Bird shares some picture books that will have both adults AND kids rolling in the aisles.”
“Game of Thrones is Back! Now Where is it Going?— NYPL's Shawn Donohue ponders how George R.R. Martin's hit book series will manifest on screen this season.”
“Mad Men: The Beginning of the End— NYPL's resident Mad Men blogger Billy Parrott speculates on what's to come in the seventh season of the hit show.”
“Craft Beer—Stevie Feliciano of the Hudson Park Library shares her adventures in beer tasting and home brewing, along with some helpful books for novices.”
The Home page includes a few traditional library themes, but they are overwhelmed by appeals to pop culture. I suppose the idea is to get New Yorkers into the library in the hope they’ll learn something they couldn’t pick up from People magazine.
The most disappointing part of the NYPL webpage was found at the very bottom: “The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter.” This is an enlightening exhibit of children’s books that promotes reading, art, and appreciation of literature. This exhibit is exactly the type of event libraries can use to attract new patrons. It’s colorful, nicely organized, learning centric, and above all, interesting. “The ABC of It” deserves to remain above the fold for as long as it's open.