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Doing Good

Padmaparna Ghosh
Journalist and podcaster
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piqer: Padmaparna Ghosh
Wednesday, 09 January 2019

A Room Of One's Own

Is there a place you entered as a child that has transformed the way you lived the rest of your life? For me that place was a library: A local, understaffed, underfunded library in a residential area in New Delhi that my mother used to take me to on Mondays and Fridays, where I would crouch on unswept, dusty floors to find the next Enid Blyton. 

This series (total time is less than an hour) dedicates its short takes on the fascinating roles libraries have played across America, and the quirky oddball forms libraries have sometimes adopted. The first story is relevant to the world we experience today – one of divisions and borders – as it tells the story of a library that straddles the border of the US and Canada and is made of... flowerpots. What better border crossing than one that begins at the door of a library and ends at the stacks of books. But this library is much more. It is a meeting place for... well, I don't want to give it away. 

There are two other short parts – one about a whimsical library spun out of a fictional book and one about a relationship between a librarian and a homeless family, and what the library sheltered them from. 

The episode is structured efficiently, it doesn't dawdle, and it covers almost all the roles that libraries can play but not all. Because that would be impossible.  

A Room Of One's Own
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