Thursday, October 18, 2012

Case Study No. 0597: McKeldin Librarian

UMD "Gangnam Style" Parody ?? ??? (Official)
A flash mob of 2,500+ University of Maryland students joins Testudo, featured dancers and members of the Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band to dance to PSY's "Gangnam Style." FEAR THE TURTLE.

Created by Drew Blais: drew-blais/52/563/466

Follow McKeldin Library on Facebook: McKeldinLibrary
Tags: UMD U-MD UM Maryland Terps Terp University of Maryland McKeldin Library Libraries Gangnam Style Gangnam Style PSY Testudo Dance Marching Band Band Music Fear the Turtle Mall Ryder Cup Miley Cyrus Google Grey's Anatomy PNC Cleveland Browns Jimmy Hoffa Honey Boo-Boo

Added: 1 month ago
From: UMDLibraries1
Views: 138,101

[scene opens in McKeldin Library (where several students are shown quietly studying), when a young woman suddenly begins lip synching to the song "Gangnam Style" by Korean artist Psy]
[cut to a male student (dressed as Psy) walking through the halls of the library]
[cut to an elderly female librarian, carrying a stack of books and looking down her glasses at the camera]
[cut back to the male student, who begins dancing]
[cut back to the librarian, who looks around in (apparent) shock]
[cut to several students dancing through the library (including one holding a "Call Me Maybe?" sign), then back to the librarian (who is now smiling and "bouncing" along to the music)]
[cut back to the students dancing, then back to the librarian (who throws her books up into the air and then walks off camera)]
[cut to more students dancing, then to the male student leading the Maryland marching band through the stacks of the library]
[cut to the University of Maryland mascot (Testudo the Terrapin) dancing in front of the checkout desk]
[cut to several students and the marching band dancing at the front desk]
[cut to outside of the library, as thousands of students gather on McKeldin Mall]



Hundreds show up on McKeldin Mall for Gangnam Style flash mob
Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012 10:40 am

Dance like you're riding a pony at the state fair, but wear a suit while you're doing it - you've got Gangnam style. And so do several hundred UMD students - surprise!

Decked out in Maryland gear, a crowd of students gathered on McKeldin Mall, faced the administration building and began to dance to Psy's "Gangnam Style" when the clock struck 4:30 p.m.

The Mall was flooded with a sea of red shirts - some were there to watch, and others were there to dance. And others … others were confused.

Nathan Ackison, also known by his Muslim named, Muhammad Yusef, was one of the confused.

DBK: "Do you know what happened?"

Ackison: "Some one told me there was going to be a flash mob, so I came."

DBK: "Have you heard of Gangnam Style?"

Ackison: "What?"

DBK: "Gangnam Style. The song they were dancing to."

Ackison: "Oh. No."

Ackison works for a company that provides roadside assistance and was on campus helping a client who had locked their keys in their car. He overheard someone say something about a flash mob and just followed the crowd.

He said he was even further confused when he couldn't see anything - just a crowd of students standing and some music playing.

The song and its video made their debut on YouTube on July 15 and since then, the video has garnered more than 280,000,000 views. It is currently the number one most downloaded video on iTunes and the second most downloaded song.

"Gangnam Style" actually refers to a famously wealthy district in Seoul.

The song and its video are reportedly intended to parody the district's superficial, luxurious lifestyle, according to The Atlantic's Max Fisher-which is why Psy is shown well-dressed and with scantily clad women, dancing through famous Gangnam landmarks as well as the dirstrict's seedier valet parking garages, horse stables and bathrooms.

The video is confusing for Americans and the lyrics are in Korean (save for the line, "heyyyyy, sexy laaady" in the chorus), but the selling point is Psy's trademark "horse dance."

Junior communications major Drew Blais thought it would make for an excellent flash mob.

"It's pretty much my brainchild," he said. "I like the song and I think it's catchy-I've listened to it probably a hundred times or more by now and I'm still not tired of it."

Blais watched the video over the summer and after talking it over with his roommate and friends, the McKeldin Library video assistant talked to his boss. With administrative approval, Blais made a Facebook event page, but didn't invite anyone.

"We made the page last Wednesday," Blais said. "I didn't really check my Facebook and I had class until four, but when I got back around four and looked at the page, it already had about 400 likes."

By Wednesday morning, almost 2,900 people had said they were coming.

Blais recorded two instructional videos teach students the dance moves, which he himself learned after repeatedly watching Psy's music video and his guest appearance on Ellen, where the rapper taught Britney Spears and Ellen Degeneres the basic moves.

Students seemed to respond positively-Blais said that the number of likes on McKeldin Library's Facebook page went up 27 percent.

Blais said that while he has been impressed with the turnout-even Dean of Libraries Patricia Steele learned the dance-the fact that not everyone can have Gangnam style was the key to the event's success. Confusing people is the whole point.

"We like that there's a little bit of anonymity," he said. "We want as many people involved as possible, but at the same time, flash mobs have that element of surprise."

Some students said that while they liked the idea of a flash mob, they didn't expect it to be so confusing.

"I just think it's funny that you can see more people standing around and watching than actually dancing," junior government and politics major Catherine Thompson said.

"If everyone could have heard the music it would have been better," junior anthropology major Katie Chen added. "Otherwise though, this was really random, with people dancing in the middle."

"But it was fun to walk down here," Ackison said.



Apparently, we are not nearly finished with the raft of college students imitating the South Korean rapper Psy and his insuppressible hit "Gangnam Style." The lastest example: the University of Maryland.

Last weekend, a very large group of Maryland students posted their mockup of Psy's track to YouTube, featuring chaos in the library, more than a couple Psy impersonators, a lusty appearance by Testudo the Terrapin, the Mighty Sound of Maryland Marching Band and, eventually, some 2,500 students on the lawn in front of McKeldin Library. They're probably all buying up tickets to LivingSocial's "Gangnam Style" happy hour.

Yeah, this shit's never going to end.



Libraries are not businesses. They do not fare well when the majority of people in a society believe that the "free market" is the only viable economic model. However, there is much of value that libraries can learn from the business community and the concept of marketing is one example. Library leaders have been arguing for decades that librarians need to "get out the message" concerning the value of libraries and what they do-whether the audience is college undergraduates, the general public, or employees served by a special library. But what is effective marketing within the context of libraries?

I would argue that in order to be effective, library marketing must succeed in two things. First, it must capture the attention of the intended audience. Second, after capturing that attention, it must provide useful information about the organization or the services offered. Unfortunately, much library marketing seems to succeed at only one or the other of these objectives. Historically (and currently to a great degree as well), libraries have been successful at producing useful information about their collections and services. Librarians have spared no effort in putting together brochures, websites, research guides and pathfinders, publicity about programming, and more. But in many cases such efforts have fallen short because they do not reach their intended audience. The element of creating interest and capturing the attention of that audience is missing.

Librarians are aware of this problem of failure to reach the intended audience, but in many instances have reacted by over-compensating in the opposite direction. They have gone to such lengths to capture the attention of potential library users that the underlying message, the information they need to convey, is lost or missing. A recent case in point is the very entertaining YouTube video put out by the University of Maryland's McKeldin Library. This was promoted on ACRL's LinkedIn page as "Now THIS is how to market a library" by UMD Libraries' Director of Communications. The video is one of many re-creations or parodies of South Korean rapper Psy's catchy "Gangnam Style" music video that has recently taken the internet by storm. The UMD student who produced it did a great job with the video-you can tell that a lot of planning and work went into its making. The student performers admirably dance and lip-synch to Psy's hypnotic beat and repetitive lyrics with the McKeldin Library serving as the main setting for their lively re-creation. Yes, the video features a stereotypical librarian-a middle-aged woman with glasses and a stack of books-but even she is hip enough to get in on the fun. The video has certainly been a success by many measures, including having garnered over 100,000 views in its first week of being posted online.

In terms of library marketing, however, the UMD "Gangnam Style" video does not succeed at effectively providing information about the library or its services. The only message that seems to be communicated about the library is: "See how tuned into popular culture we are." That doesn't truly rise to the level of effective marketing as I have defined it. This video is the 21st century, Web 2.0 equivalent of students vying to see who can stuff the most people into a phone booth. UMD may have beaten out their peers by producing an internet meme using more people and higher production values, but it is doubtful that any UMD student understands more about their library and its services as a result of watching it.

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