Benson Memorial Library, Chattanooga Public Library, Chattanooga, TN, Libraries, Music, Portland, ME, The Beach Boys and Libraries, Titusville, PA

The Library Career Arc of Justin Hoenke As Told Through GIFS of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys and Their Overall Career Arc

It lines up! You’ve gotta trust me!

1964 GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

2008-2012/2013: Cape May (NJ) County Library and Portland (ME) Public Library. Little stuff. Teen Librarian. Neat little programs. The surfing songs version of librarianship. Very basic ideas that were creative and at the same time hinted at the fact that I had some bigger ideas up my sleeve. People seem to dig it.

The Beach Boys GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

2013-2015: Chattanooga (TN) Public Library. Let’s do some neat stuff. Month long code camps (DEV DEV), sewing machines, 3D printers, maker and learning tables, one gigabit per second super fast internet, entire floors dedicated to creativity, thinking outside the box, and trying to reinvent the library. The PET SOUNDS and SMiLE of my library career. Like Brian Wilson, I was surrounded by some of the most creative and talented people I have ever met. The best of times. The most creative library experience ever.

The View Abc GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

2015-Present: Benson Memorial Library (Titusville, PA). Little stuff. Very focused to this tiny community. The equivalent of the bedroom tapes, SMILEY SMILE, FRIENDS, and other tiny little Beach Boys and Brian Wilson gems between 1967-1971. The songs don’t change the world, but if you hear them you like them and they bring you happiness. Good work. Out of the spotlight.

Beach Boys GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

A POSSIBLE FUTURE: A retreat. This stuff is wearing me down. I can’t please everyone and I do my best to make the experience a positive one for everyone, but the loud voices just keep getting louder. Do I want to use my time here on earth and my limited energy on battles? Do I have to change the world? I don’t. All that I have to do is take care of myself and my family and be myself. I can retreat. I don’t have to do this forever.

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Music, The Beach Boys and Libraries

The Beach Boys and Libraries: PART 4

SMiLE could’ve been known the greatest album of all time.  Instead, it was never really finished, and Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys followed another path.  However, I’m not gonna focus on the fact that it was never completed due to (mental illness, peer pressure, drugs, emotional problems) but instead celebrate what it is.  SMiLE, even in its incomplete form, is a true masterwork, the sound of an artist pushing the boundaries and daring to try extremely radical new things.  SMiLE taught me to EXPERIMENT AND PUSH BOUNDARIES BECAUSE WHO KNOWS, YOU MAY END UP CREATING SOMETHING AMAZING.

*I must interject: this music may sound “normal” to us now, but think about it in the context of 1966, before the hippie movement, before Sgt. Pepper, and before any kind of musical freak out.  This was OUT THERE.*

As I listen to SMiLE, I hear a new type of music and an artist saying “ok, this is how we’re going to do it now.”  I see that in a lot of the work people are doing in libraries and what people are writing about on library blogs.  I feel a bit of “so, we didn’t do that before, but who cares, now we will!” in the air these days when it comes to libraries.  I like that.  It makes me think of this time when Brian Wilson was creating SMiLE.  Who cares what happened in the past?  Try somethig new.


Once SMiLE was aborted, focus turned towards a new album called Smiley Smile.  Don’t let the name fool you…Smiley Smile is not SMiLE, but at the same time has parts of SMiLE.  Confused?  Your best chance at understanding this is just listening to the two albums.

Smiley Smile may not be a great piece of work, but it reminded to ALWAYS REMEMBER TO LAUGH.  The Beach Boys sounded like they were sure having fun at these sessions.  Never take yourself too seriously.  Put a little bit of a giggle in everything you do.

And remember to SMiLE.