June Director's Dish

If you were to perform an Internet search with words like ‘national holidays’ or ‘annual observances’, you might be amazed by the amount of officially and unofficially results you collect. The list really does run the gamut, from staples like Memorial and Independence Day to other lesser known fare such as National Gummi Worm Day (July 15) and National Grouch Day (October 15). Scanning the list, you may discover a new-found topic or subject worthy of your devotion.

Libraries often observe and appreciate several annual celebrations that include standards like April’s National Library Week and National Volunteer Month as well as late-September’s Banned Books Week. Two lesser-known observances I’d like to shed some light on include the month-long ‘Fiction is Fun’ and ‘National Audio Book Month’.

Fiction remains a popular item at Ida Rupp and at libraries nationally as novels still circulate well: from literary fiction to a good hard-boiled crime novel, fiction, whether in print or digitally, finds its way into the hands and minds of the public. Audio books, however, are a specific niche in that though they’re not as popular as a typical bestselling novel or classic work of English literature, audio books still claim an extremely devoted support base.

I’ll admit I once wasn’t a fan of listening to audio books. While commuting to and from work, I’d rather, say, listen to music or simply scan the horizon, noticing the trees and fields passing by. During the past several years, with encouragement and certain stubbornness, listening to audio books has become a part of my work routine five days a week. If I stumble across a narrator I enjoy, I’ll explore different genres, like science fiction or mystery, genres I typically wouldn’t explore as a traditional reader.

Ida Rupp and the Erie Islands Branch offer both a physical collection of books on CD and small Playaway devices as well as access to numerous digital recordings via several online options: Overdrive, the Ohio Digital Library, and Hoopla. To access our digital collections, simply visit the library’s webpage and select the ‘Digital Media’ tab under the ‘Read, Watch, Listen’ heading. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to call the library for assistance accessing, and listening to, a variety of titles.

If you’re already a fan of audio books, I encourage you to keep listening. And if you’re not, I encourage you to try one, or two, or four during June, the month that provides for, among others, space and time to recognize this specific act of listening.

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