If you are a pop culture enthusiast, come in.
If you are a streamer, a listener, a TV binge-watcher,
A podcaster, a sharer, an A.V. Club reader…come in!*

The Oak Park Public Library is launching a new discussion group for people who want to connect over all things pop culture.

Zeitgeist: Passionate About Pop Culture is the new library group capturing the spirit of the times. In our era of streaming and downloading, Zeitgeist promises to bring people together, in person, to talk face-to-face about what we’re watching and listening to on our personal devices.

Zeitgeist will meet on the second Wednesday evening of every month at the Main Library. At each meeting, a library expert will facilitate the discussion and recommend even more titles to add to the queue.

October’s topic will be all things Shonda Rhimes, creator of TV’s Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, among others. In September, the discussion will center on podcasts.

“With a spike in popularity thanks to series like Serial, we saw a need for people to ask questions, talk, and theorize,” said the library’s Katie Readel, Materials Services Shelving Team Leader.  

Local History Librarian Alexandra Skinner said that she’s interested in talking about not only what people are listening to, but how they are listening. “Do you listen while commuting? While cleaning your house?” Skinner asked. “What tech do you use, how much data does streaming versus downloading use, and do you listen solo or with someone else?”

Skinner said that by discussing these questions, people can discover new ways to listen to podcasts, get recommendations, and meet people with similar interests.

Participants do not need to be tech-savvy to participate, Readel said. “We don’t want anyone to feel lost, but if they are, we have the resources to better help them engage,” she said.

Both Skinner and Readel agreed that the in-person connection is what will make people want to join Zeitgeist.

“We want to bring patrons and staff together who maybe haven’t participated in a library event before to talk about the broad spectrum that is pop culture. By creating a group that is not just book-centric, we are hoping to use more of the library’s and community’s resources,” Readel said. “Hopefully, people will make connections that carry on outside of the library.”

Before settling into its regularly scheduled programming, Zeitgeist will kick off in August with a special event: Spell Yeah! An Adult Spelling Bee. For all dates and times, see oppl.org/events.

*With apologies to Shel Silverstein.

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Oak Park Public Library

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