Book Alchemy
The Secret Library Podcast
#24 Meghan Dowell on Reading and Media Bubbles

#24 Meghan Dowell on Reading and Media Bubbles

Are you in a media bubble?

I knew I wanted to have Meghan Dowell on the show when I met her. We talked about how our access to media and reading changes who we think we are. I was hooked. We talk about everything from print media to bookless libraries to the #syllabus movement that expands study to social media. If you're ready to get your mind blown by all the possibilities for reading out there, you'll be pumped this week. 

As someone who could stay in school forever and be perfectly happy, I was more than delighted to learn about how universities collect books and how they address the unique needs we have for learning today. If you are into Google and a good old fashioned book, you'll be pumped. Get ready to take your reading to the next level. 

Show notes for episode 24 with Meghan Dowell:

  • The ability to find books and how libraries are organized (1:45)

  • The difference between public and academic libraries (2:30)

  • Collecting for academic libraries and the Hashtag Syllabus movement (3:00) 

  • DIYing a degree and making the ivory tower more available (7:15)

  • Librarians on Jeopardy? (8:45) 

  • The path to being an academic librarian (10:00)

  • The romantic notion of the library vs. tech evolution (14:00)

  • Evolution of the library catalogue and collecting electronically (15:15)

  • Collecting books with space limitations and print vs. digital (16:45)

  • Libraries without books (17:30)

  • Device debates (18:30)

  • Book hoarders anonymous (19:30)

  • The impact of algorithms and information access on personal image (20:30) 

  • How our search choices put us in Filter Bubbles (23:00) 

  • The existential crisis around being an informed reader with all that content (28:30) 

  • Picking books as a librarian aware of all those books (30:30) 

  • Finding books we wouldn't have found otherwise (32:30) 

  • What Megan is reading now (35:40) 

  • The blue book librarian joke (37:15)

  • How many books are Americans actually reading annually? (38:45) Mentioned: Research on the length we want to read

  • On finishing books and letting them go (40:00)

  • On spoilers and knowing the endings (41:30) 

  • Pairing books with drinks (44:20) 

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Book Alchemy
The Secret Library Podcast
Most people believe that books are created in cabins all alone, where authors pound away on some manner of keyboard. Then they hand this masterpiece off to a publisher and it feels very much like it goes down a tube and comes out the other side as a book. By speaking to authors and other book lovers, I'm diving into the mystery that is the book world today.