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LIBRARY PODCAST Mt. Lebanon Public Library has launched a monthly podcast with a pretty clever title.

Shelf Motivated is a collaborative effort among librarians Eric Meisberger, Sarah McGowan, Jeremy White and Sharon Bruni. Bruni, Meisberger and McGowan provide the content and White produces and edits the podcast.

During the pandemic, Bruni and McGowan began a video series called Evening Book Chat. When Meisberger joined the staff in 2021, with experience in podcasting and college radio, he suggested they repurpose the Evening Book Chat into a podcast, and the three enlisted White, who has experience in digital editing. 

“We all read a decent amount and enjoy talking about what we have going on in our reading lives,” said Bruni.

“We all have our distinct reading tastes,” she added. “Eric gravitates toward cultural histories, in particular labor history and the punk movement interspersed here and there with some quality cozy mysteries; Sarah leans to the dark side of literary fiction, enjoys works with character driven plots, and does not shy away from the transgressive. I enjoy well-written nature essays, a good piece of place writing, folkloric fiction and memoirs of lives lived on the fringes. Our tastes for works in translation is our common ground.”

Each episode includes the librarians talking about what they are reading that month, and what they are looking forward to reading in the upcoming months. 

“We hope to introduce readers to titles that might be not getting as much buzz but are quality and worth the reading effort,” Bruni said. “We are always reading reviews, and have extensive to-be-read lists, so we hope to spread a little bit of our joy in discovering some of the lesser-known and forgotten great reads.”

Recent podcasts included discussions of Anne of Green Gables, Rent Boy, Chicago: City on the Make and Fight Like Hell: The Untold Story of American Labor.

“We also plan to talk a bit of shop,” said Bruni.  “Our experience as librarians and how it impacts our reading or how reading impacts our work. Overall, the podcast is just an opportunity for us to get together and talk about what we love; good books and libraries.”

Stream the latest episode from the library’s website or download it and listen later. You can also find it on Spotify, Audible, Apple and Google Podcasts.

AUTHOR TALK Tickets are going fast for Mt. Lebanon Public Library’s Speaker Series. Acclaimed author Colson Whitehead will discuss his books, including The Underground Railroad, The Nickel Boys and The Harlem Shuffle, at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 26, in Mellon Middle School auditorium. Tickets for the talk are $20, and can only be purchased online.