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Uppsala Library fights screen fatigue

Constantly thinking how to keep the public engaged

  • November 19, 2020 18:30
  • Author Tzvetozar Vincent Iolov
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It is well-known by now that libraries have been some of the public institutions that have suffered the most from the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, many of the larger libraries have seen that setback as the chance to rethink their offerings and go digital, in order to diversify and stay current and flexible while engaging the cultural public.

Streaming discussions and presentations online became the new way to go but then a new issue came to the fore – screen fatigue. And with that dwindling viewership. That is why the Uppsala Library has decided to venture into a new direction and test out the possibilities offered by another popular media format – the podcast.

Screen fatigue can be both mental and physiological

The city library now counts with its own podcast producing team that is in charge of organizing seminars, booking authors and moderators for the talks and creating content for the listeners. The topics can range from current literature to debates on public issues.

“If the audience cannot come to the libraries, we can come to them. There are still many who appreciate the ability to stream cultural output, but now we have also noticed trends of a certain screen fatigue among library users. That is why we are testing the podcast format,” said Madeleine Banks, who is one of the producers in question.

She has promised a varied content for the cultural aficionados. A clear example of this is the first episode of the podcast, which has renowned defence lawyer Sargon De Basso talking about what it is like to defend serious criminals, such as murderers.

Mrs Banks has also pointed out that economically podcasts make more sense for the library, too, as they are cheaper and easier to produce and do not require as high technical expertise as video broadcasts do. After the emission the podcasts will also be available in text format for those with hearing disabilities.



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