I was in a hot, stuffy summer sublet with my sister Olivia, in Grinnell, Iowa when I found out Michael Jackson died. I went on YouTube to listen to some of my favorites and the tears flowed freely.
I grew up with Michael Jackson. I watched the “Thriller” video on MTV when my parents were not around and mastered the dance when I was 6 or 7. My mom always had the hits playing, when she drove me to dance class in elementary school and, of course, MJ always topped the charts. In high school, I was obsessed with the Jackson 5—“ABC, 123.” I would dance around my room in the morning to the song and get pumped for the school day. Even now, I still can’t believe MJ is not on the planet anymore.
The news of Whitney Houston’s death was equally crushing. My first CD was The Bodyguard and the song “I will always love you” still gives me goose bumps today.
So, what does this have to do the library? Trust me there is a connection—music and entertainment law, and the books we have in the collection related to these subjects.
First, I did a keyword search for “Michael Jackson” in JULIEN. We actually have one book in which he is mentioned, Outrageous Invasions: Celebrities’ Private Lives, Media, and the Law.
From here, I broadened my keyword search to “music law.” One book caught my interest, Steal this Music: How Intellectual Property Law Affects Musical Creativity. I clicked on the book and three subjects were a part of the bibliographic data. The subjects are the most important topics covered as determined by catalogers following the standard cataloging rules.
I clicked the subject “copyright—music—united states.” JULIEN then took me to all the titles on this subject matter. There are nine entries, including:
I did another keyword search for “entertainment law” and one book intrigued me: Entertainment Law for the General Practitioner.
I went to get the book off the shelf and browsed the shelves around the book. I found another really interesting title that I may not have found otherwise: Legal Aspects of the Music Industry.
Because books of the same subject matter are generally grouped together on the shelves, browsing is a great way to find materials related to what you are interested in. Lisa Donadio, ILS Administrator, and the processor of all library books, told me, however, the Library of Congress subject system is complicated and sometimes books one would think would be in one subject area are found in another subject area. So, considered yourself warned!
And finally, here is a link to one of my favorite Whitney videos that I used to watch on MTV as a girl. Thank gosh my mom was a fan of Whitney and Michael, otherwise, I think I may have gotten in trouble for watching so many music videos.