Inside Culture #25 (Future of Libraries, Calgary Music Library, The Book Shop Band & MediaCon)

Tonight on Inside Culture, we hear about these changing times of television and listen to a song from The Book Shop Band. We also look at libraries as many face closure and librarians are gradually being replaced by machines.

Jeffrey Schnapp talks to us. He is the founder and director of metaLAB (at) Harvard University which explores the digital arts and humanities through many forms. Recently he’s published The Library Beyond the Book, which explores and I’m quoting “what libraries have been in the past to speculate on what they will become; hybrid places that intermingle book and ebooks, analogue and digital formats, paper and pixels”.

Jeffrey Schnapp

Jeffrey Schnapp

Recently we’ve seen protests in both Dun Laoghaire and Sligo as library services there have been threatened either by closure or by replacing library staff with self-service facilities. To discuss this, our presenter, Fionn Davenport, is joined by Diarmaid Ferriter, professor of history in UCD and columnist in the Irish Times, and Mary Stuart, Offaly County Librarian, and Helen Shenton, Trinity’s librarian and college archivist.

We travel to Calgary, a city in Canada’s mid-west which boasts the world’s largest traveling music library. John Smith reports from this local music library where borrowers have access to sounds which won’t be heard on Spotify and other sharing sites on the internet. For more information, check out

The Book Shop Band was formed in Mr. B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, a bookshop in Bath in 2010. They have written and recorded over 120 book inspired songs, usually to tie in with bookshop readings. We chat to band members Beth Porter and Ben Please. The band are frequent visitors to Irish bookshops so keep an eye out for them on

Finally, the MediaCon Global Entertainment Summit was a two day conference focusing on television and digital entertainment. One of the most attended panel discussions at the summit was on new TV drama hotspots, which looked at the global appetite for TV drama. We spoke to two of the panelists, Christian Rank, commissioning editor for drama for TV2 in Denmark, and Michael Idov, showrunner for Londongrad, a new Russian comic detective series set amongst the Russian emigre community in London.

Broadcast on 10 October 2016