- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
My son is a night club DJ. He used to have gigs at San José hot spots such as “The Brit” (Britannia Arms), Wet, and Fahrenheit, but he moved to L.A. last year. I would give you the link to his web site, but it’s rated R for language, and San José Public Library’s site is family friendly.
My son the DJ primarily spins, scratches, and mixes hip hop. I grew up with Elvis, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan, and I don’t know much about hip hop. As a librarian, and a curious person, I love to use the library’s resources to learn about things. As a mother, I want to understand my son’s work. Follow me as I search for information on hip hop, and you may get some ideas about how to do your own research.
Naturally I start with the library catalog. I do a keyword search for “hip hop” and get 459 results. Yikes! That’s more than I bargained for, so I decide to narrow the search. I do a subject search (instead of keyword) and get 45 hits. At least that’s manageable. I scan the list of items and decide on the book Rough Guide to Hip-Hop and the DVD Wild Style. Neither one is available at the King Library where I work, so I hit the request button at the top of each catalog record and place requests to have them sent to the King Library for me. Unlike entertainment movies, the DVD can be requested since it’s non-fiction.
Next I decide to take advantage of SJPL’s helpful electronic resources. I go to the library’s web site (www.sjpl.org) and click on the “research” box at the bottom of the home page. For a quick overview of hip hop, I select World Book Encyclopedia on the research page. I enter “hip hop” in the search bar and read the article, but I want to know more. I click on “Magazines and Newspaper Articles,” which takes me to a database called “Academic Search Premier.” When I enter “hip hop” I get 11,638 results. I scan a few articles with titles such as “Hip Hop Hermeneutics and Multicultural Education: A Theory of Cross-Cultural Understanding,” and “Anticipation and Delay as Micro-Rhythm and Gesture in Hip Hop Aesthetics.” These articles are too academic for me!
I go back to the Research page and click on “More Research Resources by Topic,” scroll down and find “Student Research Center.” I try my search here and get 64,552 hits. I scan the first few pages and find these articles are more my speed. I think I’ll read “The Roots of Hip-Hop” for historical background and “Hip-Hop Dudes and Divas” to learn about the personalities.
I’m exhausted by now (and you probably are, too), but I hope you’ll take the time to look at the multitude of resources available to you on the SJPL web site. And don’t forget, you can always ask a library staff member for assistance. Help is available via phone, e-mail and chat reference, as well as in person.