The Skillset Podcast
The Skillset Podcast #6: Melanie Townsend Diggs Reflects on the 2015 Uprising in Baltimore

The Skillset Podcast #6: Melanie Townsend Diggs Reflects on the 2015 Uprising in Baltimore

November 20, 2020
On April 27, 2015, Melanie Townsend Diggs was heading up the Pennsylvania Branch of the Enoch Pratt libraries in Baltimore, at the epicenter of the uprising in Baltimore caused by the death of Freddy Gray in police custody. In this interview, she talks about keeping the library open in the midst of police confrontation and the burning of stores. And most importantly, she talks about the next day. The Next Day is when her team’s commitment to the community became clear. The next day every staff member of her branch opened the library and joined with residents to clean the streets. The next day when the library teamed with grocery stores to provide supplies in the food desert her branch served. The next day when the library brought legal services into the library to directly support the community.
The Skillset Podcast #5: Sue Kowalski, School Librarian at Pine Grove Middle School

The Skillset Podcast #5: Sue Kowalski, School Librarian at Pine Grove Middle School

November 13, 2020

Sue Kowalski knows a lot about connecting to her students. Years before the pandemic Sue’s library was closed for a building renovation, and her students scattered across her districtso she bought a used RV and drove from school to school keeping the students connected. The pandemic, however, has presented a larger challenge still. In this episode, Sue opens up about not only connecting students, but needing that connection herself. 

The Skillset Podcast #4: Academic Libraries in the Wake of Covid-19 with Clemson University’s Christopher Cox

The Skillset Podcast #4: Academic Libraries in the Wake of Covid-19 with Clemson University’s Christopher Cox

November 6, 2020

Host David Lankes catches up with Christopher Cox, Dean of Libraries at Clemson University, to talk about the lessons Clemson—and academic libraries more broadly—are learning in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Skillset Podcast #3: Politics and Libraries with EveryLibrary’s John Chrastka

The Skillset Podcast #3: Politics and Libraries with EveryLibrary’s John Chrastka

October 30, 2020

With the election days away, this is the perfect time to remember that public libraries exist in a political as well as civic space. In this episode, hosts David Lankes and Nicole Cooke talk to John Chrastka, head of EveryLibrary, the country’s only political action committee for libraries, who points out that for 364 days of the year librarians are the lovely people who help us. But on election day, they are candidates who must stand up for themselves and their communities.

The Skillset Podcast #2: The library as a platform with library Angela Craig, Director of the Charleston County (SC) Public Library

The Skillset Podcast #2: The library as a platform with library Angela Craig, Director of the Charleston County (SC) Public Library

October 23, 2020

In this episode a conversation with Angela Craig, director of the Charleston County Public Library in South Carolina. We talk about what it’s like to run a  library…one week at a time. She shares a lot of fantastic ideas and experiences but take special note of her talking about the library as a platform. She talks about how the physical and digital have to work together. And how the library platform has to connect the very local to the broad community.

The Skillset Podcast #1: Rethinking Community Engagement, with Tamara King

The Skillset Podcast #1: Rethinking Community Engagement, with Tamara King

October 20, 2020

Hosts Nicole Cooke & David Lankes talk with Tamara King, director of community relations at the Richland (SC) Public Library about the changing nature of community engagement in a time of pandemic, Black Lives Matter, & economic recession. Learn how the Richland Public Library’s “Let’s Talk” program has brought county residents together to have hard, serious conversations about race. And why it's important for libraries to support community efforts that are based in library values.

The Skillset Podcast with R. David Lankes and Nicole A. Cooke: An Introduction

The Skillset Podcast with R. David Lankes and Nicole A. Cooke: An Introduction

October 19, 2020

In this short explainer, co-host R. David Lankes talks about the genesis of The Skillset Podcast, what the podcast seeks to add to the conversation around the future of libraries, and why the current crises transforming libraries is also an opportunity.

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