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Allen County Reads: Bruce Haines, PBS39

by Georgean Johnson-Coffey, Manager, Audio Reading Service | Sep 12, 2016
Bruce  Haines and Cat in the Hat

In this month’s  Allen County Reads, Bruce Haines, president and general manager of PBS39, shares how libraries have influenced him over the years.  As part of ACPL’s volunteer team, Bruce reads the Sunday  Journal Gazette as it is broadcast live at the Audio Reading Service for those who are print and reading impaired. As libraries have helped Bruce, he now helps our community with his service through the library.  – Georgean Johnson-Coffey, manager, Audio Reading Service

My mother worked in my elementary school library. It was at a time when, more than books, libraries were moving to multi-service facilities. The room housed film strip projectors, opaque projectors, audio cassette players, slide strips and records, overhead projectors, microfilm. A number of student and teacher needs were addressed on any given day. Of course, the technology has certainly changed and, as the library evolved into a media center, the name has changed, too. Through the years, however, the school’s needs to provide a connection to sources of information, education, inspiration and entertainment remained constant. The library as a community’s “connector” for individual growth and the public good holds true over time.

In college, I learned that beyond the resources of any one library lies a fraternity of libraries that could loan for your use the book you thought you’d never find. I discovered that it was also OK to know what you didn’t know about finding materials and that asking questions was expected and encouraged. In doing so, you become familiar with not just what you were looking for but also with the organization involved in helping you find that information in the first place. With that understanding, the library has become a source for answers and assistance and not for anxiety. Moving from the written word to music, movies, and now family genealogy, my library experiences are often as multifaceted as the library’s offerings!

In the research of topics assigned to me for Fort Wayne Quest Club papers over the years, I am impressed by how much material is now available in digital form. Books and documents that would have been difficult to acquire by their age or their origin are now accessible in a most practical and useful format. It improves the ability to examine sources directly rather than depend on a review of that same source by another writer. The information connections available online to us through our library and countless others expand the scope of what can be obtained and extend the value of such original materials, all from the comfort of any computer!

As a birthday present, my daughter Hannah gave me a copy of Rough Riders: Theodore Roosevelt, His Cowboy Regiment, and the Immortal Charge Up San Juan Hill by Mark Lee Gardner. This book increased my interest in T. Roosevelt, which has now led me to begin reading The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Having read her work on Abraham Lincoln (Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln) I look forward to the immersive journey ahead into this phase of American history!

Bruce has been the general manager of PBS39 for more than 8 years. PBS39 operates four public television channels and carries Audio Reading Service programming on an audio sub-channel of PBS39-4.


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