A Librarian on the Radio

voices in the aether

One of the best things about moving down to Nanaimo from Campbell River has been getting more involved in our radio show. When I was far from the studio my role was to record booktalks and bookfights and package them up for the producers, fretting all the while about not taking up too much of their airtime. Now I’m here and I get to help host the show. It’s kind of cool.

Last week my co-host (and originator of the show) Jason did the journalisty thing I never could and just called up Scott Bonner to see if he’d be willing to be on our program. He was (mp3 link).

Scott Bonner is the director and sole full-time employee at the public library in Ferguson Missouri. Jason talked with him about the kinds of things Bonner did and what it was like librarianing in a heightened situation, and one where the world was seeing their little library as like the beacon of hope in the middle of turmoil. I think it was a good interview.

My job has been a bit more on the production side of things. I put together and edit the non-live segments (like the bookfights with my Campbell River friend Patrick). This week I recorded a reading of an excellent holiday story just in time for the beginning of Hannukah. And I talked with Maggie, another librarian about Serial from a book club perspective. And I got to go on about how Love Actually sucks.

The previous episode had a lot more of me talking, so even though it was about stuff I find really interesting (RPGs and Lego and writing) and Kaylea was a very knowledgeable guest, I think we levelled up our game for the most recent episode. You can listen to November’s (mp3 link) and compare though.

I’m having fun with this stuff and it kind of tickles that performance itch I left behind with storytimes. And even though I’m not a great journalist, my moderate amount of skill is something that a lot of librarians don’t have, so it’s all about carving an odd little niche. I’ve realized that what I really like is going off somewhere out of contact and returning with treasure (or things for the radio). It’s just hard to do that as a librarian working the desk every day.

There is no point to this story. Except maybe to let you know where I’m coming from if I suddenly become a hardcore podcaster.

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