"This American Life" Shares Library Stories

The weekly public radio podcast compared libraries to Hogwarts' Room of Requirement, visited libraries across the country, and told three special stories.

Librarians enter 2019 with many serious issues at hand. School and public librarians seek to serve their students and young patrons by offering a variety of lessons and programs, diverse books, technology, social emotional learning, and support in all aspects of their lives. There are budget cuts and bureacracy to overcome, battles to keep fighting.

For today, though, let's bask in the good. Many probably saw a flurry of social media posts by library and literary types about This American Life podcast episode on libraries at the end of December. For those who haven't found the time to listen yet, though, we offer the link and a little push. Find the time.  If nothing else, go from the intro where two young kids from Queens, NY, ask their public librarian for books without pictures—"I want a challenging one," the boy says. The girl with him adds, "now that I'm bigger, I don't really want to have more pictures. I want to mostly just use my imagination for reading."— to Act Three where an Iowa woman named Lydia Sigwarth returns to the find the librarian at the library where she spent all day almost every day for six months growing up during a tough time for her family. No spoilers here, but don't turn it off before it ends.

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