Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, creative librarians have been pulling out all the stops to inform their communities about curbside pick-up and other socially distant services. One highlight: “Library Takeout,” a viral music video created by Duke University librarian Jamie Keesecker to explain the contactless pick-up process.
Since debuting on YouTube in August, “Library Takeout” has racked up nearly 700,000 views from around the world, thanks to its catchy synth-pop vibes and endearing crayon-drawn animation. The lyrics are direct and informative, outlining all the steps to reserve library materials online and schedule a time to pick them up. The track is so popular that it’s now available on Spotify and Apple Music for repeat listening.
Keesecker, who earned a doctorate in music composition before taking a job at Duke’s Music Library, wrote the song and animated the video with help from his three-year-old daughter while working remotely. “I decided I might as well try and see if I could put together a song,” Keesecker told Duke Today. “If it’s a total disaster, we don’t have to release it. But it could be just the thing we need to reach the people we’re trying to reach.”
As it turns out, the video reached the university community and then some: thanks to its catchiness, thousands of people who have never set foot on Duke’s campus are now extensively familiar with the school’s library pick-up procedures. “By this point, I could explain to a Duke student how to use library takeout even though I’ve never been there nor in the whole damn country,” one YouTube commenter wrote.
When the video first began to take off online, Keesecker remained anonymous; one student told the Duke Chronicle that they assumed the library had hired an outside artist to compose the song. Now that his identity is out there, he’s become a campus celebrity of sorts—Duke (and the rest of the internet) will be eagerly awaiting his next hit library song.
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