In a recent article, the Disney channel announces that they will market High School Musical 2 in libraries and YMCA’s; in other words, ‘old school’ (according to the article) “We have to make sure our content is showing up in safe and appropriate places,” states the Disney Channel. “In other words, any official “High School Musical 2″ material can’t risk being seen within a thousand clicks of, say, a Brazilian supermodel having sex on a public beach,” the article goes on to say.
How is the marketing taking place at libraries? “Some 3,000 libraries across the country are slipping “HSM2″ bookmarks into every children’s book.”
Sounds great for a corporation to take interest in a library and market the products that we not only make available for check out but participate in as programs-that’s nothing new.
Do we want to think of our libraries as being safe places? Of course. Though they are also places that frequently use the very marketing tools that the Disney Channel has decided not to including YouTube and MySpace-and not just for marketing but allowing access to these sites as well. So in other words, an HSM2 bookmark could be very near a click of a site that might be deemed as inappropriate. So. . .what?
My argument is not that every library should use YouTube or MySpace or that the Disney Channel should either. But when we talk about libraries as ‘safe’ places, I think they’re safe because they allow people to access information-whether it be deemed by some to be inappropriate or not-from books as well as computers. They’re safe because people can talk about topics that might be considered inappropriate by some. They’re safe because people can question things they might not understand and find information to their answers. They’re safe because they are a place where kids and teens can learn to make responsible decisions-if they come across a video on YouTube that might be considered inappropriate by their parents (and not by the Disney Channel), they’ll know to click off of it, and choose another video instead, and maybe discuss it with their parents later on.
Posted by Kelly Czarnecki