The Dewey Decibel System

The Dewey Decibel System

I just finished listening to one of my favourite NPR programs, This American Life. I got hook on it when I was living in the states, and thankfully for me they’ve been available over the internet for years, so I still get my Sunday fill by tuning in digitally.

On tap today: Image Makers. This episode got me twice: first, it has a segment on how the Michigan public library was trying to change its image among teenagers…by bringing in rock bands.

Hey, if librarians could do this, making a library not very much a library, making it loud, then anyone can do anything.

Genius. Every single thing about that story is inspiring; doing something totally different, tapping into the interests of the patrons, and the idea of changing the general perception of what the library is, what words to use to describe it, by pairing two apparently contrasting ideas; the library (quiet) and rock bands (very loud). Two constrasting things in the same place at the same time. If anything can be a crucible for change, that’s probably it.

Then the second part of this episode tells the story of a mother trying to recreate the image of her extremely ill husband for her 10 year old son, and that part made me cry. Not that that’s a terribly difficult thing to do, but still. So, a success from start to finish.

So my recommendation if you have an hour of time you can fill with some interesting sound: Image Makers, from This American Life. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. If you’re a librarian, you’ll be inspired.

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