Category Archives: interview

Libraries and their communities – an interview.

Should-a-public-library-be-more-community-focused

Libraries are all about the communities they serve. At the heart of Global Librarianship is the combination of global inspiration and local action. I was interviewed about community focused libraries for the Princh blog.

Here is a small sample 🙂

What is the definition of a library nowadays?
The library is the community’s hub for learning and knowledge creation. Libraries simply make communities smarter. In a world with more and more information librarians and libraries are vital, because they have access to and know how to distribute the right information and knowledge to the citizens in the knowledge economy.

You can read the whole interview here.

We’re On Borrowed Time – Ben Glover on libraries and music

Ben GloverHello Ben. Thank you for doing this interview about music and libraries… Let me ask you:

How did a library ever make a difference in your life and (or) your community?
I grew up in a small village that didn’t have a permanent library but I remember very clearly for most of my early childhood a mobile library that visiting the village twice a month…I think it was every second Tuesday it came and parked at the seafront. So the visiting library always represented a little bit of excitement for me as a child, it was definitely something which I looked forward to arriving. This mobile library was an important resource to the village back then as it mean’t that the locals had access to books without having to travel long distances for them.

Is there a librarian in your life – for better or for worse?
No, not presently…

Your songs are stories and libraries are full of stories – Do you see other connections between your art form and libraries?
Stories are massively important to me and songs are basically stories in musical form.  Stories help us communicate, break down barriers, allow us to find refuge in shared experiences and can give us strength and comfort at times when we need these. Libraries are filled with the works of writers who have used stories to share their experiences and that is what I’m trying to do in my songs. So yes, there is certainly a connection here.

You write love songs – Why is love so fascinating to write about ?
I believe there are two main forces at play in the human condition – love and fear. Everything else is sparked off by these two, therefore love is a massive well to draw from and write about. Love, or lack of it, is what shapes our relationships and our interactions with each other and these are the things that I like to write about. It’s a central theme to so many things that you can’t avoid writing about it.

What inspires you when you write and what is a good song?
A good song is one that resonates with the listener in a true and meaningful way. It’s something that hooks onto your soul and makes you feel something real.
I write to make sense of my own experiences, to find some order. It’s my way of working out and working through the core issues that I face in life. Songwriting is one of my main vehicles of self expression so I am inspired to write because I am inspired to attempt to interpret what’s going on in my world.

If you did choose to write a song about a library (hint!) – what would the title be?
That’s a tough one! What about “We’re On Borrowed Time.” I might go and start tinkering with it…!

 Can a good song change the world? – or the life of an individual?
Individuals can change the world by changing themselves. It is very possible that a song can change an individual so it follows that a song can be the source of a change in the world. A good song can influence our lives deeply so it definitely has a power if we let it in close enough.

I know you have an interest in history and are inspired by good people like Van Morrison and Robert Johnson… Name a few more of the people you admire (Please)

Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, WB Yeats…the list could go on! I am drawn to people who’s work has stood the test of time and who’s art still speaks as powerfully in the present as it did in the past.

Have you ever performed at a library?
The school I attended sometimes put on concerts in the library and I played at some of those over the years. The school was formerly built as a stately summer retreat in the mid-1800’s and the current school library is in one of the oldest parts of the building . Maybe I didn’t appreciate it fully as a teenager but looking back now it was a grand room to perform in!

Thank you so much for participating Ben – and Thank you for your support for libraries and for your stories and beautiful music.

Ben’s new record, “Atlantic” will be released worldwide on September 1  – 2014. Until then PLEASE visit Ben Glovers website – and buy some of his wonderful music. You can also follow Ben on Twitter and  like him on Facebook. Ben is one of my favorite Instagrammers… He takes awesome photos.

Billions of Beautiful Words – Mary Gauthier on libraries and music.

maryjanHello Mary- Thank you for doing this interview about music and libraries… Let me ask you:

How did a library ever make a difference in your life and (or) your community?
When I was around 8 or 9, my parents marriage was slowly falling apart. I had my mom drop me off at the library when it opened on Saturdays, and I stayed there till it closed. It was how I spent my Saturdays for quite a while. It was my safe place, my place of peace.I read my way through nearly all the books in the children’s section, and began looking at books in the regular library. The library felt like home to me, more than home felt like home. Books are a treasure to me, they are life rafts, they are undiscovered worlds. And libraries are their homes. I love libraries.

Is there a librarian in your life – for better or for worse?
No, I almost always found my way on my own in the library. The few times I did ask for help, the adults frowned on my reading choices. So I didn’t trust adults. I used the card catalogues to find what I wanted, and to explore the selections.

Your songs are stories and libraries are full of stories – Do you see other connections between your art form and libraries?
Stories are so very important to me, and they always have been. I think that stories can help hold troubled lives together, they have some kind of magic glue that keeps us from shattering from the weight of our own experiences. There is something intrinsic in human nature that find comfort in other people’s stories. We look at each other and compare ourselves, we feel relief that we are not alone, we feel encouraged by other people’s courage and resilience. It is my deepest hope that my songs operate at the level of literature, that they have that ability to transcend time and place, and to offer other people something they can hold on to. Time will tell.

What are your thoughts about storytelling in songs vs. a novel or short story?
Songs are a very particular art form. There’s is very little time to get the story told in a song. Every word deeply matters, each syllable is expensive real estate. So songs are, by necessity, very dense. What is said in a line in a song, could take pages or even chapters to say in a book. Most Western songs are under 4 minutes long, by necessity. Also, with songs, melody plays a very important part in the telling of the story. We use it to emphasise important words, and manipulate emotions.

What inspires you when you write and what is a good song?
A good song connects to the human heart in a meaningful way. A great song does so in a timeless way, it operates outside of time. Your Cheating Heart was written in the 50’s, it is as relevant today as the day Hank wrote it.
I am inspired by emotion and the desire to make sense of my own life experiences. So often my experiences do not seem to make much sense in the moments they are happening, but then I write about them and it all comes into focus. I suppose in some ways, songwriters impose meaning, play God, create order, when there is not much to be had. But that is the beauty and the challenge of the job.

If you did choose to write a song about a library (hint!) – what would the title be?
hmmmmm, how about “Billions of Beautiful Words.”

How can a good song change the world? – or the life of an individual?
I’m not sure songs change the world in and of themselves. They do, however, have the power to articulate the sentiments of large groups of people, and give people a mantra and a big idea to rally around, and that can be very threatening to a people in power. Over and over again politicians try to use songs their own advantages, some with more success than others.

Have you ever performed at a library?
Not yet! But it would seem like a great place for me to play some songs. I have played at bookstores, lots of them.

Thank you so much for participating – and Thank you for your support for libraries and for your stories and beautiful music.

Please visit Mary Gauthiers website – and buy some of her amazing music. You can also follow Mary on Twitter and since you already love her in real life – you can also like her on Facebook.

Circulating Ideas Featuring Jan Holmquist

janholmquist__I am very proud to be the guest on Steve Thomas great podcast Circulating Ideas – A Podcast I think makes a very big difference for learning in libraries and is making libraries better…

Thank you for having me as a guest Steve – and thank you to all who listend and liked – So many shares and positve comments – means the world to me….

Head over to Circulating ideas to hear the show and all the other interesting podcasts Steve has done with inspiring librarians.
Circulating Ideas Featuring Jan Holmquist