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Funding Idea for Troubled Public Libraries

April 18, 2012

I cannot get the notion of Keith Richards answering reference questions out of my head.

Except by replacing that idea with the image of him reading picture books to kiddies.

Let me explain.

I’m writing a paper about social media use in public libraries, and so my head is a stew of depressing statistics about the economic downturn paradox of increased library use and decreased funding, colliding with the inherent upbeat tone of books about social media from a marketing perspective, and my love of libraries that use social media tools cleverly. (Blowing a kiss to the NYPL, Queens Library and my newest public library crush, the Kansas City Public Library)

And then I read a piece in Mental Floss, about charities raising money to bribe celebrities to do odd things. The idea of Celine Dion singing “I Want Your Sex” nearly had me reaching for my wallet.

And then, a memory of a school auction of “Principal for the Day” tickled my memory.

Why couldn’t there be a benefit auctioning off celebrity librarians for the day? Authors would be a good bet, of course, reading their books or books they love. But why stop there?

Let Jeremy Lin shelve some books, or dust the top shelves!

Really smart, interesting reference answers by Malcolm Gladwell. Or Will Shortz.

Storytime by Mark Sanchez would be a hit with the sports-loving kiddies, and parents too.

Storytime by Jack Nicholson or Keith Richards… I just have no words. Or Johnny Depp. It would be wrong, but beautifully wrong. And Samuel L. Jackson? Come on, you know you want him to read Go the F*k to Sleep.

Robert Pattinson shelving Twilight books? Could possibly make enough money from Twihards to keep the NYPL in the black.

Felicia Day is practically a picture book character in her own right. So is Robin Williams.

What celebrities would you like to see working in your library?

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