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“Listening Is an Act of Love” at Georgetown Public Library This May

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Georgetown, Texas city logo

The Georgetown Public Library’s one-book, one-community program, Georgetown Reads! kicks off on May 1, 2012, and POV is thrilled to be contributing. The library has planned a month of programming around Listening Is an Act of Love, a collection of interviews from the StoryCorps project that is housed at the Library of Congress. POV’s Peabody-winning StoryCorps Shorts will be playing in the library throughout the month of May. We recently talked with Georgetown Public Services Librarian Sheri Miklaski, who is coordinating the program.

StoryCorps Shorts on POV

StoryCorps Shorts on POV

POV: What about NPR’s StoryCorps program inspired you to begin your own oral history program at Georgetown Public Library?

So many of us here at the library listen to StoryCorps every Friday morning on the way to work. When the Georgetown Reads! committee was considering books for our 2012 one-book, one-community selection, Listening Is an Act of Love very quickly rose to the top of the list. Georgetown is a unique community in that we have a lot of residents who have lived here all of their lives, a large retiree community, and parents who find this a wonderful community to raise their children. We wanted to give Georgetown residents the opportunity to capture stories from loved ones.

POV: We’re thrilled you’ll be showing POV’s StoryCorps animations in your library as part of this program! Can you tell us a little more about how you plan to incorporate the shorts?

Originally we had planned to play some selections from Listening is an Act of Love audiobook. It is one thing to read the stories in the book, but hearing the voices of those being interviewed makes the experience that much more intimate. While at the Public Library Association conference earlier this year I stopped by the POV booth in the exhibit hall and found out that StoryCorps Shorts was available for public viewing. We immediately joined the POV Community Network and we plan on playing selections from Listening is an Act of Love and screening StoryCorps Shorts during “An Evening of Listening” on May 1st. During the rest of Georgetown Reads! we will be playing StoryCorps Shorts on a loop on our Bridge — the comfy public seating area on our second floor. This way people can stop at their leisure and enjoy all or just a portion of the wonderful animations.

POV: Do you have a favorite StoryCorps interview?

Oh wow, can I say all of them? I think mine changes every week. Eric Lashley our Library Director’s favorite is the one of the grandson interviewing his grandfather about his care for his grandmother when she had Alzheimer’s disease. The grandfather said that it was just a part of being married.

POV: Can you tell us about some of the events you have planned around the Georgetown Reads! program in May?

We have quite a few events planned after the “An Evening of Listening” kickoff. On Friday, May 4, 2012, we will be partnering with the Culinary Heritage Institute for “Cooking is an Act of Love,” a cooking demonstration with a local chef. On Monday, May 7, 2012, we are honored to host Dr. Stephen Sloan, the Director of the Baylor Institute for Oral History for a lecture. On Saturday, May 12, 2012, Donna Sheffield, a Creative Memories consultant will be leading “Scrapbooking is an Act of Love” workshop. We have gathered some Georgetown residents who have agreed to share their unique life experiences through “Bibliovita” – our human book library. And finally, we are running our own “mini-StoryCorps” from May 9 to 23. Please check out our Georgetown Reads! website at georgetown.org for more information.

Watch the Peabody-winning StoryCorps Shorts online at POV!

Interested in using the StoryCorps shorts in your programming? Join our Community Network. It’s free!

Jamie Dobie
Jamie Dobie
Jamie worked in the Community Engagement and Education Department at POV from 2010 to 2013. Prior to joining POV in 2010, Jamie worked at Northwestern University's satellite campus in Doha, Qatar, where she was part of the team tasked with setting up the school's film and journalism programs in the Middle East. She has worked in various capacities on many documentary film crews around the world, including productions in West Africa, and has worked closely with acclaimed filmmaker Margaret Brown. Jamie has also previously worked in the exhibition department at the Field Museum of Natural History and the education and cinema programming departments at the Block Museum of Art. She holds a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in Radio/TV/Film and African Studies.