The Super Bowl is done, and like all 49ers fans, we didn’t get the outcome we wanted. So for now, let’s do like all the other teams that didn’t even make the game and talk about the commercials.
Between getting choked up by a Clydesdale and grossed out by GoDaddy, the best ad for $4 million of not-our-money was the only one that took place in a library (naturally). Oreo’s spot begins with two men arguing, quietly, over which is better: an Oreo’s creme filling inside or its chocolatey cookie outside. Soon everyone in the library gets involved, quietly, in an all-out brawl for sandwich supremacy. Eventually, fire and police crews respond, quietly, to quell the chaos. The ad is laugh-out-loud amusing, but it also perpetuates two (ok, one) stereotypes about libraries we’d like to dispel.
Stereotype #1: Quiet study is the only activity that happens in the library.
First, you should know that the library can still be a place for quiet reading and reflection. We have designated areas of the library expressly for this purpose. However, as times and the needs of our community change, so does the library. Public libraries in general are evolving from silent crypts of knowledge to vibrant, lively, and yes, at times loud, centers for exploration and collaboration. Sunnyvale Library is no exception. Last week on this blog, Becky wrote about some of the unexpected things that librarians do instead of shushing people all day. While we do and always will promote reading and study here, one of our goals at the library is to create programs that help people lead active, enriched lives, both physically and mentally. Take a look at our recent and upcoming events to see that we are working hard to offer something for you to get up, get engaged, and doing something on your own or with others. We’ve had wonderful success with our recent Fresh Start Series, as hundreds of you have come out to learn about organization, investing, EBay, and more. There are programs still to come on healthy food and estate planning in this series. Also still to come this month, you can visit the library to learn about getting out in your garden to grow blueberries, raise money for your organization, pick up the basics of computers or ebooks, or get crafty and make a valentine for your special someone. We recently got you listening to chamber music and dancing to Bollywood beats, and you still have time to tap your toes when we continue our Sunday Music Series with barbershop harmonies later this month. And of course we have some great literature programs planned as well, including our monthly book group which will kick off Silicon Valley Reads month with a discussion of The Long Walk: The Story of War and the Life That Follows by Brian Castner (who will speak here at Sunnyvale Library on Sunday, March 3 at 3 p.m.).
Stereotype #2: Oreos are great library eats.
While we can all appreciate the pick-me-up that a sweet snack provides during a long session of reading or studying, eating inside the library is problematic for several reasons. Crumbs on the floor, especially under tables and next to bookshelves where it is harder to clean, eventually attract vermin and other nasties. It’s gross and no joke. Food debris and beverage spills on books and other materials can cause permanent damage, especially if not reported immediately (usually out of embarassment). Have you ever unluckily picked up a book or DVD that had obviously been through a soda spill? Double gross. Eating, especially in a quiet area, is often disruptive to others. Very few of us are true eating ninjas, stealthy and silent. Some of us are unabashed lip-smackers, and well, we just won’t go there. Finally, take another look at the mess that can happen when Oreos and libraries mix:
So get up, and get engaged here at your library! But leave your Oreos outside or else they might disappear, because for the record, this librarian is most definitely on Team Creme.