Dr. Horrible and the world today

It’s a funny thing to be a youth services librarian who’s been around awhile. On the one hand, you are in full-dinosaur mode, insisting that at least SOME portion of storytimes be devoted to actual, you know, stories. And on the other hand, it’s a thrilling time to be part of a transitional time where story is being conveyed in such a variety of ways, especially for older kids.

This past week, Joss Whedon of Buffy and Firefly fame notified people that his three-part online series Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog would be released. I heard about it from several different sources, from Buffy fans and YA authors and people who get excited about seeing media used in different ways. And it was wonderfully original and fun, and of course one of the most fun things is being in on something at its inception. If you happen to spot this on Sunday, you can still watch, but after that, you’ll have to pay for it. Its blend of music and video, and the unexpectedly hilarious comic timing of Neil Patrick Harris made it something to remember.

And there’s the John and Hank Green vlogbrothers.com, where recently John was dared to go find one of his Young Adult novels in a store and sign it. He couldn’t find his own, so he signed his good friend Maureen Johnson’s book instead. This was followed by a video log of a young woman (Marion–how perfect is that?) ditching her teleconference to find that book and buy it, and recording her experience, followed by John’s brother Hank turning it into another video. It’s a very fun time to be in Youth Services! People are getting excited about books and story in a different way from before.

I hope that those of us working on the younger end of Youth Services as well can keep in mind how important books and stories are, so that when I am beyond middle-age and well into geezerdom, I will still be applauding the creative efforts of people working to communicate with people of all ages.

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