Fuse #8

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Video Sunday - La Bibliotheque

Today we look at the library. Why? Because there are roughly a million videos on YouTube involving libraries and getting people into them. The best way to do so is to get the children while they're young. Now when I saw this video on Becky's Book Reviews, the memories just starting flooding back. I remember this routine like it was yesterday. What else is residing in my brain that I don't know about?

And correct me if I am wrong, but didn't this contemporary commercial totally rip-off Sesame Street?

Beautiful. Not that I wasn't equally swayed as a child by Reading Rainbow.

Speaking of Reading Rainbow, this one amuses me horribly. First of all, Levar seems to be participating in some kind of Rex Harrisonish song styling. Then there's the fact that the sign says "FREE LIBRARY" which is a term I haven't seen in my lifetime. I'll have to ask my grandmother about it. And the first librarian in this video? Fab.

Gotta get me some hot pink spandex shirts and purple skirts to wear. I adore that she still wears a bun. Otherwise how do you know what her profession is? Then the whole video becomes Pippin. I'd mind, but I've a soft spot for Pippinish behavior. Y'know, they still rerun old Reading Rainbows on PBS these days. I love the thought of some kid catching this on the telly, then asking their parent what a record is. My library still has them. Does yours?

I remember all of these. But this one from The Electric Company? Not so much.

If you pause it quickly enough you'll see that the "I" at the end appears over a book titled, "The Truth About Weight Control". Odd. Speaking of which...

Cell-u-leet? 1987 was a glorious year.

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At 3:35 AM , Anonymous stacy said...

The only place I've ever seen the phrase "free library" is in Urbana, IL, when I went to college at the University of Illinois. The Urbana Free Library is the public library there. It was just like any public library--better collection than any I'd seen up to that point. I'm not sure why they used that terminology, but it appears to have had some precedence somewhere.

At 10:09 AM , Blogger Liz B said...

The Free Library of Philadelphia.

As opposed to a library where you paid to belong via subscription or shares. The library Ben Franklin started was a subscription library.

At 10:22 AM , Blogger Monica Edinger said...

Shouldn't that be something like "Apprendre La Bibliotheque" or "Etudier La Bibliotheque"?

At 12:08 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Undoubtedly. In that my French is exceedingly rusty despite the 5-6 years I studied it. I'm just pleased as punch that I managed to spell "bibliotheque" correctly.

Both Free Library examples are great, but my point was that seeing a newish sign sporting an, admit it, old-fashioned phrase is a bit odd.

At 12:15 PM , Blogger Adam Rex said...

I'm really guessing that the library in the Reading Rainbow clip was a Philadelphia or Philly area library as liz b suggested. All the libraries in Philadelphia are referred to in signage and elsewhere as "Free Libraries," regardless of whether they were built in the 1870's or 1970's. It struck me as odd, too, when I moved here 6 years ago, but I think it's charming nonetheless.

At 2:47 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Huh! Well I'll be hornswaggled. You learn something new every day. Just goes to show the depth of the Philly-related gaps in my brain.

At 6:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to dwell on this, but there are "Free Libraries" all around Massachusetts, especially surrounding Boston - new or old.

I loved every video today... especially the Reading Rainbow insane dance in the stacks.

At 12:02 PM , Anonymous Carl in Charlotte said...

Hey Fuse #8,

I loved the videos! I'm glad someone remembers The Electric Company. Does anyone recall that Bill Cosby and Morgan Freeman were on that show. (I believe MF was a character named "Easy Reader").
As for kids asking their parents what a "record" is, I had a little tyke at one of our storytimes who knew exactly what a record is for. Some of us baby boomers will occasionally pull out an old vinyl album to play at our our storytimes. Well, once I got one and pulled it out of the cover when the little fellow asked me, "What are you going to do with that? Are you going to go "wicki, wicki, wicki?" Like I was some DJ at a club! Just call me Grandmaster C!

At 12:26 PM , Anonymous SarahBela in NYC said...

These clips were so much fun, thank you for sharing.

there's a ton of libraries in their name, which I didn't get when I first heard their name:

Enoch Pratt Free Library (Baltimore Public Library)is another one.

Once I started Library School, i always thought it related back to the Ben Franklin subscription library...

At 9:06 PM , Blogger Brooke said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

The excercize video is AWESOME.

Whenever I see a COM CAT in the library (and yes, they do still exist) I'm going to have a devil of a time resisting singing "You Spin Me Round."

As for the phrase "Free Library" . . .there are a few libraries that are titled "Free" in the Pittsburgh area, but not at the one where I work -- the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Instead, the words "Free to the People" are inscribed in the stonework above the front doors. It's something that gives me a good ol' shot of cheesy pride whenever I walk in.


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