Nowra librarians promote joy of books on YouTube: video

There's little chance that the librarians of Nowra have ever growled, "Quiet please!"

"We have a lot of fun," says Robin Sharpe, the Nowra Library's digital resources manager.

When their masters at the Shoalhaven City Council asked the librarians to detail their achievements over the past 12 months, there was little chance that anyone was going to doze off during the presentation.

Change of Image: The Nowra Library team work their magic for a video that is proving a  YouTube sensation.

Change of Image: The Nowra Library team work their magic for a video that is proving a YouTube sensation.

"We knew it could be death by Powerpoint and we're really partial to a bit of song and dance," said Ms Sharpe.

The librarians looked for an anthem. Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody seemed right. They looked for a lyricist. Customer and community resources manager Jessica Newton, who runs a writing group at the library, stepped up. "She went home and wrote it in one night," Ms Sharpe said.

They looked for vocal cords. Sharpe sings in a trio with her sister; another librarian is the lead singer of a rock band. Two other staff members have fine voices. Sharpe's husband has a recording studio at Terara near Nowra. The children and youth librarian's partner has a film company.

Change of Image: The Nowra Library team work their magic for a video that is proving a  YouTube sensation.

Change of Image: The Nowra Library team work their magic for a video that is proving a YouTube sensation.

The pieces were in place to create a presentation that would have council bureaucrats busting moves.

"My immediate reaction was, 'this is just sensational'," said Craig Milburn, Shoalhaven City Council's director of corporate and community services. "It highlights the fun places libraries are these days; they're not the staid places they used to be."

"I think they know we're a little on the wacky sidebut I don't think they expected this," Ms Sharpe said of the video the librarians offered up as their presentation on Monday.

In Librarian Rhapsody, the librarians sing Newton's revised lyrics, which includes lines like: "Is this non-fiction? Is this just fantasy? Work in the library ... we escape from reality. ... Tell me where the cool kids go ... must be to the library to read."

On YouTube, the video is now grabbing the attention of more than just a few bookworms.

"The whole idea was to start off with that image of the traditional dowdy librarian and then let it morph into something to demonstrate the amazing array of things that public libraries now do," Ms Sharpe said, who confirmed that a rap follow-up is in the works.

Costume design for the clip was a communal effort. "We have a bit of a tradition of going to trivia nights as 'The Librarians'," Ms Sharpe said. "We have a room that has costumes and our outfits are in there; I'm not saying we wear them every day [but] you never know when we might need them."

And Ms Sharpe has an admission about the predominance of spectacle-wearers in the video: "Most of us do wear glasses but some don't. You know what we did? We raided the lost property and found the most disgusting ones we could find."

Southcoastregister.com.au

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