Digital Distraction Brought to You by Hoopla and Kanopy

Like a lot of people, I miss the library. My days don’t seem to have an anchor, I miss my co-workers, and my job. I miss looking at physical books and media and I’ve always preferred print to digital. And as much as I try to get into digital events, it just seems to make more evident the value of seeing faces and people in real life. But like most people, I’ve had to put my preferences away and embrace the world that streams in from my laptop and phone. Here’s what I’ve been watching and listening to pass the time and distract my brain from global catastrophe and personal loneliness.

I started taking a lot of walks. Long walks and listening to the self help offerings on hoopla, one of our digital platforms that offers e-books and e-audio. Brene Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability is a great listen and reiterates the issues of shame and vulnerability she talks about in her break-out TED Talk of the same title. She also talks about numbing, judgement, and the importance of play. If you’d like to take a deep dive into the components of her research and how they relate to one another, give it a try! Hoopla also has books by Kristin Neff, who researches self-compassion. Brene Brown and Sharon Salzberg (of the Metta Hour Podcast) mention Neff’s research so I was really pleased when I saw her books were available. I’m just now listening to Self Compassion and it’s accompanied me on jaunts though Oak Hill Cemetery and the Burroughs Creek trail. It’s a great listen especially now while all of our lives and psyches are disrupted on an amygdalatic level.

Kanopy is a great resource and I know any librarian you talk to will sing its praises! Thanks to generous donations we’ve managed to up our limit from 5 movies to 10! I recently watched Tell It to the Bees. It’s a great love story set in Scotland right after WWII between Dr. Jean Granger (Anna Paquin) and a young mother named Lydia (Holliday Grainger). It touches on trauma, gender dynamics, and the discrimination the couple faces when there relationship becomes evident to their neighbors. It’s told through the eyes of Lydia’s young son who becomes something of a bee whisperer throughout the film. Give it ago if you want a delicate, quiet film about the nature of love and acceptance.

Another movie I adore is The Love Witch. Do you like camp? Do you like feminism? If so, this is the movie for you! Love Witch Elaine is on the lookout for the love of her life with a little dose of her homemade love potion. It works. REALLY WELL. So well, that she leaves a trail of dead for a detective to follow right up to her doorstep. Beware-there is some nudity, pagan ritual, and chunky 60’s jewelry, but if social commentary on campy 60’s horror movies are your thing, please check this out.

So that is my strange, perhaps not too cohesive digital content casserole, but these days we’re just working with what we’ve got, right? Just remember stories are a great distraction for your brain and we need that more than ever right now!

-Kristin Soper is the Events Coordinator at Lawrence Public Library,