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

“He came to my window”

“My lifestyle is like…eating breakfast, going to the park and taking walks, playing my piano, talking with my kids and my wife and that’s my day….a very simple lifestyle”

-Brian Wilson

*Title from At My Window*

Life, Music

Four Things

When the zeros line up on the 24 hour clock

Is my terracotta heart breaking? I don’t know…

Mama’s little baby loves shortenin’ bread

Take good care of your feet

Music is great. Music is beautiful. Music helps my soul come alive. What music does this for you?

Libraries, Music

INSPIRATION AND INFLUENCES

What do you do to be a better librarian? What music or podcasts do you listen to? Where do you go? Just what do you do for inspiration?

A few years ago, I followed a lot of library blogs and twitterz related to libraries. I got a lot out of them and they helped me grow a lot as a librarian. They were pretty much my only source of inspiration for libraries. It was a great source for inspiration, but I just love to grow and think about things differently.  I wanted to approach libraries in a different way. I knew that only following library stuff wouldn’t take me there.

I started thinking about the things that I enjoy in life. I enjoy music quite a bit. That part was easy….focus on the music that you enjoy and you will be inspired. I also enjoy people that are passionate about what they enjoy. That’s a little bit trickier. You can’t easily find a podcast on people who are passionate about what they enjoy. You have to dig for this.

I’ll start with music….

The-Beach-Boys-–-SmileI talk a lot about the Beach Boys and specifically Brian Wilson quite a bit. The label “genius” has been tossed around a lot with Brian Wilson. Sure, he’s a genius in some ways but what I really dig about him is that he is a guy who just really follows his passions and inspiration. This is a beautiful thing.

His 1966 album SMiLE is the perfect example of this. Brian attempted to create something new and unique in the music world. He wanted to create a beautiful piece of art, a “teenage symphony to God.” That’s no easy task. Many will say that SMiLE was never fully finished by Brian (read up on the history, I recommend this book) and even if it really wasn’t fully finished, he got pretty darn close. Heck, I listen to it and all that I hear is a beautiful piece of art that sounds finished to me.

Brian-Wilson-en-el-estudioBrian composed and recording SMiLE in sections. He’d have about 1 minute of music here, 30 seconds of music there, and another little 15 second link track to connect the two. He didn’t really fully understand how the parts would fit when he was recording them. Instead, he knew that they’d fit somehow in the great grand scheme of things.  He was right. If you can get your hands on the little bits and pieces of SMiLE in an unedited form and put it on shuffle, it works.

To me, SMiLE is the big inspiration for the 2nd Floor. If the 2nd Floor could sing, it would sound exactly like SMiLE. You have pieces and parts of things, what we call “walk up programs” (3D printing, button making, Minecraft, etc) all around the space. You can make buttons first if you want. That may tickle your fancy and make you think about 3D printing next. Or maybe you’ll just wanna move along into our arcade and play Wii U for a bit and relax with some other community members. There is no clear path or program for the community to follow. You put the library on shuffle and somehow, it all links together.

20140424-billsimmons-x624-1398358752

The other big inspiration in my library career these days totally comes out of left field…Bill Simmons, editor of Grantland and a pretty big podcaster. His passion is sports and in particular, basketball. Weird, right? I, Justin Hoenke, really don’t care at all for basketball.  I don’t care that much for sports (NOTE: Pittsburgh based sports teams are something that I DO CARE VERY MUCH ABOUT GO PIRATES) but there’s just something about Bill and his passion for basketball. He loves the game. He knows the game. He knows what makes it work and how all these things come together to make a successful basketball team. In his book The Book of Basketball, he talks a lot about how chemistry is important for the success of a basketball team. To me, that’s one of those things that can be easily copied/pasted into librarianship. Chemistry is an important thing to have. Team chemistry, with the right people all playing their specific and very important parts, can lead to great success. I think a lot about the team we have here at the Chattanooga Public Library and how we all really work well together in our roles. To me, that’s why we’ve been able to do the things that we’ve done here. Chemistry is huge. Bill Simmons, I may not know what a pick-and-roll is, but damn, I really love hearing you talk about basketball.

Who are some of the people that inspire you when it comes to libraries and why?

Music, The Beach Boys and Libraries

Random “Heroes and Villians” by The Beach Boys generator

Click on the image to hear your own random version of Heroes and Villians!

From the website:
That’s right folks! Strep right up and create your own version of The Beach Boys’ classic “Heroes and Villains” using a completely unpredictable, new and exciting construction that you’ve never before dreamed! All you have to do is click the media player above and -WALLAH!- 

You now have an amazing new Heroes and Villains!

This is just so cool that I may have to put this very cool resource in our catalog for patrons to discover!

Family, Music

The Beach Boys, First Concerts, Hellos and Goodbyes

Last Friday I had the chance to see my favorite band in the world live one final time.  What made the event even more special was that I got to experience it with my son Finn.  It was his first concert.  Finn’s enjoyed the Beach Boys music for quite some time now.  He runs around the house singing I Get Around, Catch a Wave, and Little Deuce Coupe.  I was happy that he got to see the band performing those songs live.  The look in his eyes when I Get Around was performed was something that I will never forget.  It was a combination of “Dad, OMG this is THE BEACH BOYS” and “now I have dance harder, faster, and better than I’ve ever danced before.”  It was one of the best moments of my life.

Which leads me to the next part =.  The new Beach Boys album and the show were my chance to say goodbye to the band and the music that’s shaped my life considerably.  With all of the members inching towards their seventies, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll get another album or tour like this ever again. Who knows.  But it was great to get together one final time and do it again.  It was great to hear some of my favorite songs live (Add Some Music To Your Day, All This Is That, Sail On Sailor) and enjoy a set that really spanned the history of the band.  It reaffirmed my love for their music which warms my soul and helps me spread positivity into the world.

To Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, David Marks, Carl Wilson, and Dennis Wilson: thank you for all of the music, the love, and the energy you put into making this world a nicer place.  Thank you for the chance to share such a great moment with my son.

If you have access to Spotify, here’s the link to listen to the setlist

Libraries, The Beach Boys and Libraries

The Beach Boys and Libraries PART 7 (END)

Being a librarian can be a really, really hard job.  There’s a lot to be expected from us…we’re community leaders, we’re experts on books/technology/social media/pop culture/history/etc, we’re managers, we’re performers, and so much more.  The list really never ends.

In my own personal journey in dealing with my professional identity as a librarian, I’ve turned towards many things to help me sort out who I am and who I want to be. But my recent obsession with The Beach Boys and their music and history has taught me so much about the journey I’ve taken to reach this point.

To sum up my posts, these were the points I highlighted:

  • YOU NEVER LOSE YOUR GIFT.
  • EVEN IF THINGS DON’T GO AS PLANNED, IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.
  • EXPERIMENT AND PUSH BOUNDARIES BECAUSE WHO KNOWS, YOU MAY END UP CREATING SOMETHING AMAZING.
  • ALWAYS REMEMBER TO LAUGH.
  • ALWAYS PUT YOUR HEART INTO IT.
  • FOCUS ON WHAT YOU DO BEST AND DO THAT.

When I re-read my posts, it dawned on me that all of the things I learned were very human things.  Going forward, I believe that this is where the libraries of the future will move ahead.  Human interactions are at the core of what we do.  They will trump any discussion on ebooks, content, materials, budgets, and more.

The patron that leaves with a smile are the best things we could have for us as we move forward.