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The Deerfield Public Library Podcast

Thoughtful, in-depth conversations with authors of all genres and other notable people from Chicagoland and around the world. A monthly program from the Deerfield Public Library in Deerfield, IL, hosted by Dylan Zavagno. Our archives include episodes from the Library's John Cotton Dana Award-winning series, The Fight to Integrate Deerfield: 60 Year Reflection; our Pride Month series, Queer Poem-a-Day; and our local history audio tours.
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Now displaying: 2020
Nov 12, 2020

Intersectional Tech: Black Users in Digital Gaming (Louisiana State University Press) by Dr. Kishonna Gray documents and analyzes how the intersectional identities of race, gender, sexuality, and ability are experienced by black video gamers. Conversations about racial justice can sometimes overlook gaming and related social media, even though these activities make up a large part of many people’s everyday lives.

We touch on a lot, including the work of libraries (which often circulate and promote video games), #blacklivesmatter, digital redlining, as well how black users develop self-sustaining, empowering practices, create new resources, and collaborate with allies, to navigate digital life.

You can find out more about Dr. Kishonna Gray at her website, kishonnagray.com, or follow her on Twitter: @KishonnaGray. Check out Intersectional Tech at the library, in our podcast collection. 

You can also check out the resource caniplaythat.com for game reviews and more from an ability lens. Or check out our adaptive X-Box controller, or one of our many video games--Dr. Gray recommends the Hitman series among other games at the end of our episode. 

Oct 15, 2020

Our first Youth and Family episode--with the theme “Cool Careers!”

Kary Henry, our School Outreach Coordinator, joins as co-host to share three interviews she conducted with a youth audience in mind. 

First is Ashley Wolff, author and illustrator of many popular books, including Baby Bear Sees Blue and the beloved Miss Bindergarten series. Then it's Peter L., a commercial airline pilot, who tells us what it’s like to be a pilot, including going to school, flying around thunderstorms, and why training makes flying safe, even in “emergency” situations. Finally, we talk to Dr. Liz Rampe, a NASA scientist who focuses on Mars geology. Dr. Liz is the deputy principal investigator of the CheMin instrument on the Mars Science laboratory Curiosity rover. She tells us about analyzing minerals with the current rover Curiosity, as well as what scientists like her hope to learn from Perseverance, the new Mars rover that launched in July. We also hear about the excitement and challenges of humans potentially going to Mars.

You can explore a list of books at the library related to this episode, including books by Ashley Wolff, and books about airplanes and air travel, and Mars exploration. 

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Sep 17, 2020

Troublemakers: Chicago Freedom Struggles through the Lens of Art Shay, by our guest Erik Gellman, fuses photography and history to explore many “movements and moments” in the struggle for a more free and democratic society in our city, from the post-war years through 1970. 

Troublemakers use the photographs of acclaimed photographer, longtime Deerfield resident (and past DPL podcast guest) Art Shay (1922 - 2018), and it also contains a whole chapter on the fight over integrated housing in Deerfield. That history, explored in our 2019 series The Fight to Integrate Deerfield: 60 Year Reflection, is given a fascinating new historical analysis, plus new insights into many Chicago protest histories, from Dr. King's activism, the '68 Democratic Convention, the Black Panthers and Fred Hampton, as well as under-known, and seemingly unconnected histories like the rise of teenagers, of racialized policing, suburban mom's group Women for Peace, the Division Street riots, gang organizing, figures in music, and so much more. 

You can check out Troublemakers: Chicago Freedom Struggles Through the Lens of Art Shay here at the library. Or, the book is available for purchase from the publisher University of Chicago Press (listen to our episode for details on a 30% discount code!). 

Also--you can see some of Art Shay's Deerfield photographs at the library, including the cover image of Erik's book! 

Aug 13, 2020

A Tree to Take Us Up to Heaven is a fascinating debut novel by our guest, Jordan Melic.

A Young Adult novel combining adventure, history, and mythology, A Tree to Take Us Up to Heaven follows siblings Ah Ti and Kueny as they find themselves in different times and places that led to modern day Singapore, spanning many generations and belief systems, from ancient China to colonial Malaysia. Jordan, who grew up in Singapore and now lives in Paris, tells us how his depictions of past eras reflect a personal and universal struggle to reckon with one’s own history.

Here are the rules to enter our drawing to win a copy: email podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org, with your name before midnight on Thursday August 27th (CST). We’ll put all entries through a randomizer and select two lucky readers to receive a copy. The only requirement is that you (or someone you know) must be able to pick up the book from the Deerfield Public Library. (We can do curbside pickup or you can pick up during our open hours, and we will quarantine the book ahead of time.) 

You can check out A Tree to Take Us Up to Heaven at the library, available in our Teen and Podcast collections. Or, take a look at the book’s publisher Math Paper Press. 

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Jul 16, 2020

Racial and social justice facilitator Christine Saxman discusses the question, “how can white people accelerate racial justice?” 

Christine describes herself as a “white woman fighting for racial justice and anti-racism as long as this social construct of race exists.” She has worked for Courageous Conversations about Race, the National SEED Project (Seeking Education Equity and Diversity) as part of the National Staff, and prior to full time facilitation she was an educator at our own Deerfield High School. 

In our current era of ongoing protests against systemic racism and police brutality, we’ve had many white patrons asking for programs on how they can get involved in furthering racial justice. Christine knows the Deerfield community well and our conversation--recorded live with a virtual audience earlier this week--includes her perspective on how to address Deerfield’s history of segregation, how to talk to young people about race, and how to do “the work” of racial justice as a white person grounded in integrity and accountability. 

You can find out more about Christine Saxman on her website, christinesaxman.com. The Library is committed to continuing education about the world of information and ideas, including issues of racial justice. You can find links here to our Library Director’s statement on inclusion and diversity, as well as our lists of resources on antiracism and Black Lives Matter or our series on the fight over integration in Deerfield.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Jun 11, 2020

Sarah MacLean and Jen Prokop are the hosts of the romance literature podcast, Fated MatesSarah MacLean is a bestselling author of historical romance novels and Jen Prokop is a romance critic and teacher. Together on the Fated Mates podcast they have some of the most intellectually stimulating and joyful conversations about what romance does and why it’s important.

You can check out books by Sarah MacLean in many formats here at the library. Her newest novel Daring and the Duke, comes out June 30th. We’ve also tagged some of the many books Sarah and Jen recommended on this episode in our catalog, check out the list here.

We also acknowledge in this episode that we are having this conversation at a difficult time. Mentioned in the episode is our Library Director’s statement on inclusion and diversity, as well as our lists of resources on antiracism and Black Lives Matter and our series on the fight over integration in Deerfield.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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May 14, 2020

K.C. Johnson, Bulls Insider for NBC Sports Chicago, discusses The Last Dance and memories of the Chicago Bulls in Deerfield. 

The Last Dance, ESPN’s popular 10-part documentary series on Michael Jordan’s last season with the Chicago Bulls, features previously unseen footage from that ’97-’98 season--much of it shot here in Deerfield, IL at the Bulls former practice facility, the Berto Center. 

K.C. Johnson shares his firsthand perspective on the documentary, Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, Jerry Krause, and many “unforgettabull” stories from when the Chicago Bulls made their home in our village. The Bulls will always be part of sports history--and Deerfield history. 

You can read K.C. Johnson’s work for NBC Sports Chicago, or his twitter @KCJHoop

Share your Bulls-in-Deerfield story with us on our social media (links below) or email us at podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Apr 16, 2020

Graham Ambrose on Illinois during the 1918 influenza pandemic. Graham (twitter) is currently a reporter for the Quad City Times, where last month he wrote an article titled “102 years ago, the Spanish flu slammed the Quad Cities. Here’s what it teaches us about pandemics." Link

The 1918 flu pandemic had a huge impact on modern life and consciousness, yet it’s a history we don’t always talk about. We discuss the lessons we can learn from this history as we face the COVID-19 pandemic today, using news stories and literature from all over Illinois, including our own North Shore communities, Chicago, and the Quad Cities. 

Graham Ambrose was previously on episode 23 of our podcast to discuss his Yale history thesis on Deerfield’s racial integration history, as part of our Fight to Integrate Deerfield series. You can find a list of sources and ways the library can be a portal for your own history deep dives here. Or check out an ebook of some of the literature from the 1918 pandemic: They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell and Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Mar 12, 2020

Part 2 of our 2 part conversation with acclaimed author Rosellen Brown. We discuss her new novel The Lake on Fire (Sarabande Books, 2018) and it fits in to her whole career. Rosellen Brown's website

You can check out books by Rosellen Brown here at the library, as part of our new Podcast Collection, which features books (and other media) from our past 3+ years of podcast guests.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Feb 13, 2020

Part 1 of our 2 part conversation with acclaimed author Rosellen Brown. We discuss themes that run through Brown’s whole career, and how she uses form to approach difficult emotional and political subjects.  Rosellen Brown's website

You can check out books by Rosellen Brown here at the library, as part of our new Podcast Collection, which features books (and other media) from our past 3+ years of podcast guests.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Jan 23, 2020

A conversation with the Chicago-based poet Sam Herschel Wein, author of the chapbooks Fruit Mansion (2017) and, in collaboration with the poet Chen Chen, Gesundheit! (2019). He is also an enthusiastic ambassador for the vibrant scene of online poetry and edits (with Chen Chen) the online poetry journal Underblong. Listen to hear Sam read his poems and reflect on queer life, friendship, the power of joy, and the inner life of a shy painted ghost!  

You can check out Sam’s poetry chapbooks from the Library’s new Podcast Collection. The Podcast Collection features books (and more) from all our past podcast guests over the last three years. We invite you to find a new book and listen to our interview with the author! The collection is at the bottom of the main staircase, by the Adult Services Desk.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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