It’s been a while, but I’m back with another post about what I’ve been thinking about the media I’m consuming…
New technologies at the library: When I told a librarian at my local library back home that I was thinking about going to back to school to become a librarian, she was supportive and told me how much she loved her job even after 30 years. However, she didn’t let me go without a couple of warnings about the future of librarianship. She said I should consider being a librarian if I’m passionate about technology and new innovation. She talked about how her job has changed: the library has had a decline in circulation so they’re focusing on new ventures to get patrons, such as 3D-printers, e-books, and other technologies. Librarians now have to be on the cutting-edge of all that is innovative because they feel that’s the future of getting patrons to step in the door. In this story, we see how people are using these technologies at libraries. The reality is that libraries need to change to survive and they believe this should be their new focus. I’m not sure if I am as into new technologies as the librarian thinks I need to be, but I can see how the technology has increasingly become important. And at least it seems to be bringing new people into the library. To me, libraries can be both spaces for books AND innovation, and just getting people in the door (for whatever reason) is the first step.
The biggest abortion case to come to the Supreme Court in decades: I watched a bunch of John Oliver clips with Thomas the other day, including one about abortion rights and the Supreme Court case heard a couple weeks ago. The decision has yet to come on the case, but I still think it’s important to be aware of the general facts of the case. Lawmakers and proponents say that this law protects women’s health and ensures their safety. As a result of HB2, which laid out new requirements for clinics (for example, wide hallways and admitting privileges at a local hospital), 26 of 36 clinics closed from 2013 to June 2015. There are now only 10 clinics in the state. Furthermore, 25% of women in Texas have to drive 100 miles to find an abortion provider and there’s almost a complete wasteland with no abortion providers west of Ft. Worth/Austin/San Antonio (see this map). I will definitely be watching for the decision this summer.
On The Media always ends up discussing things I’m interested in, but this past week they did an episode about all things bookish and lit! They dispelled the idea that e-books were going to take over the world (in 2015, physical book sales went up). To be honest, this was never something I really thought would happen – people enjoy physical books and everything (even e-book use) goes in cycles of popularity. I used e-books quite a lot when I was in college, but since 2015 I’ve been frequenting my library to get physical books. There are also entertaining stories about the biggest book thief, how a company is selling/recycling books by the foot for show houses and offices, and how coloring books got started as a political statement and typically mocked 1960s corporate America. I love OTM and they are always teaching me something new.
This episode of RadioLab about debate succumbed me. It really had all the elements to grip me: a story of an underdog, a story of race and queerness, and a story of the power of words. I never knew much about debating before this (especially debate-speak). I also found it interesting to see the experience of children of color in a typically “white space” like debate. The end is interesting too, including what the POC debate community sees as a “backlash” and a consequence of Ryan Wash’s story. You should check this one out.
Another story that had the same tone (emotional and deep but also humorous at times) was Radio Diaries’s recent story about Frankie Lewchuk. Mostly, Frankie as a narrator is what made me love this story. He talked about growing up in the South (his accent is contagious) and his losing-est but still fun high school football career. Then, in the next episode about a grown-up Frankie, which looks back to his teenage years, things get way more serious and heartbreaking with stories about his dad’s past and stories about Frankie using drugs.