Lost in the Stacks – Charlie Bennett & Ameet Doshi

This is Circulating Ideas, I am Steve Thomas. My guests today are Charlie Bennett and Ameet Doshi, the hosts and creators of Lost In The Stacks, the Rock and Roll Library radio show on WREK at Georgia Tech here in Atlanta. I was pleased in late June to sit in on an episode and what you’ll hear here is an interview with Charlie and Ameet interspersed with clips from their show that day and some behind-the-scenes chatter as they were live on the air.

[Charlie:] You are listening to WREK Atlanta and this is Lost In The Stacks, the one and only research library rock and roll radio show. I am Charlie and my co-host is Ameet.

[Ameet] Hey, everyone!

And we both work at the Georgia Tech library. Anthony is on the board.

[Anthony] Hey.

Hey. And we’ve got Fred, Wendy, Lizzie and some dude named Steve in the studio with us.

Steve!

For the next hour we’ve got music and library talk for you, whichever you’re here for we hope you dig it.

When I was making this question I realized it sounded sort of like a riddle, but I don’t mean it to be a riddle, like the how’s a raven like a writing desk kind of thing. But, how are radio, how is radio like libraries? How do you see them matching up together? How do you, what common things do you think they have in common? Why do you think a library show on the radio makes sense? Charlie?

I feel like we should do rock, paper, scissors to see who has to start this answer. Ameet, this is actually more a question that’s sort of your style of thinking, so I’m going to let you begin.

So this is a riddle, I’m treating it like a riddle. So both are providers of information, both have to do with access and I think both, probably most importantly both have to do with democracy. So you can cue democratic song if you want to do that as part of your, cause I think that would be a nice [laughs]. You know that’s great, that’s a great question [laughs] it’s a great question Steve, but there is a certain kind of commons element to both libraries and radio, it’s, you know radio is easily accessible, you don’t have to have a, in most cases you don’t have to have like a subscription or anything like that. You can listen on a, you know, on a radio, yeah. I, that’s one thing that I really love about broadcasting over the air, there’s a certain kind of, you know there’s like a connection to the past, but it’s one of those things that are so quaint that it’s actually kind of cool in a way and I think being a research library, or being part of a research library, there’s certain elements of a research library that I think align really well with, you know, the public service mission of a non-profit college radio station.

I think that, I think democracy is the answer here, you know, and I forget what the actual answer to ravens and writing desks are. I think it’s that they both have an R in it? Maybe.

Maybe, originally it was supposed to be the unsolvable riddle actually, it was supposed, that’s, in Alice In Wonderland it’s supposed to be an unsolvable riddle, but yeah people have come up with answers…

Yeah no, no one, no one trucks with that unsolvable riddle. I, I think radio is incredibly democratic, especially in the face of television and this is going to sound like I’m making a joke but I am not. You know, when television requires production values to make you look good, television requires a certain stance or a look or that, you know, I can be incredibly uncomfortable and still deliver a very good radio show and you cannot deliver a good television show if you seem uncomfortable and the, you know, bringing it down to just voice and sound and taking the visuals out of it also mean that you can, you as a listener, you can do the dishes, you can, you can rest, you can, you could even read while listening to the radio, you know you’re not demanding the attention, there’s no 60 cycle hum and flickering 24 frames or 26 frames or whatever it is these days. It’s probably, it’s actually probably a billion frames a second and I just don’t know anything about television. But, there’s nothing that’s demanding your attention, you are being offered and you engage in a sort of social contract with radio to be connected to them and anybody can do radio as Ameet and I have proved.

Well I, and anybody can broadcast too as I proved, so [laughs]. What would you guys say came first. Your love of radio or your love of libraries?

Ah wow that’s a great question. I’m trying to think back to my childhood now. I do remember, it was just, just beginning, I remember War of the Worlds, it had me on the edge of my seat. I actually remember falling in love with both around the same time, both lib, both the public library in Des Plaines, Illinois and the local radio station playing kind of like pop hits and getting into both of them around the same time, which is and I think Charlie can speak to this as well, radio and libraries have been a part of my life throughout, so it’s not like one ended, but in college we were both DJs affiliated with our respective radio stations WTK, the Rock of the Hill at University of Tennessee, so yeah, that’s, they’ve, they’ve both been there from the beginning.

I, I didn’t know that this was the answer until you asked the question, but libraries came first for me because I was a voracious reader before I was a music consumer, but very shortly after I started falling in love with libraries I started listening to music and in high school that’s when radio really became important, because when I was in high school, Low Eastman many years ago, there was a techno craze, so in the, in the late 80s C+C Music Factory was really big and there were some, some bands that just didn’t play anything that I really like and so I had to learn how to find music I liked and this was obviously before internet and so I was finding the classic rock stations, but also finding the weird stations that had stuff that was palatable, but I, yeah long before that I had learned, oh the library’s where there are books and in books are things that don’t happen to me and in books are, you know, places that I can go, you know, while not going anywhere, so, yeah. Real chicken and the egg kind of thing though cause yeah, like I mean, I said it’s incredibly important to my life, but books beat radio by about two years.

And you talked about that you guys both were DJs when you were in college, sorry, Charlie wants to jump in here.

I have to, I have to get the record completely straight, I was a radio groupie in college. I had been on the radio, I was, I did a Sunday special with friends, but I was never a WREK DJ. I only became a member, a member of the station recently, but, you know, when I was at tech I knew a lot of WREK folks and I was in the station and falling in love with radio in general, so, so technically no, but yes from a distance I was also. Ameet’s the real deal though.

I just push play and now there’s a, a robot that does that, so, but I push play a lot, so I guess that makes me a DJ right? [laughs]

****Radio Show Clip

Today’s show is called There’s No Archive Like Show Archives, you can sing that, like no archive I know. Continuing with our pop my culture series.

{Wendy} You didn’t say it right, Ameet.

I know I didn’t [laughs] Sorry about that.

{Wendy} It’s a title that we have lovingly lifted from the podcast, I can’t do it, Pop My Culture [laughs] Which you can find at popmyculturepodcast.com.

We’re exploring pop culture in and around libraries. Last week we talked about preserving the video games and this week we pull back the curtain on the secret weapon responsible for the success of the entertainment industry.

{Wendy} Archives.

Wendy is here.

{Wendy} Behind every great movie, legendary album, or pop star lurks an archivist who is busy collecting, describing, preserving, and providing access to one of a kind archival collections.

That was a little creepy and our songs today are all about show biz. We’re coming up on our country’s 238th birthday. Yay. So we’re going to celebrate with songs about entertainment, high fashion and the popular tastes of middle America.

You can’t even say it [laughs].

Harking mid-western. We may not know as much as enlightenment, as much enlightenment philosophy as our founding fathers, but we know how to consume show business.

*****End Radio Show Clip

So how does you guys end up starting this show here at Tech, Lost In The Stacks? What lead this show to be started in the first place? Your involvement with it? Like, why does Tech need a library rock and roll show?

Those are a lot of questions. My favorite story is the story of how this started, so I’ll tell it. I was thinking about radio and libraries and how we didn’t have any, the Georgia Tech Library had no connection to WREK, W-R-E-K. Hey we should change that. So I went up to Ameet’s office and he had been here, I think maybe 3 or 4 months, was it that early? Yeah, he’s nodding. And I leaned in his office door and I said hey I was just thinking, we should get on the radio and what I meant was we should start writing PSAs, we should figure out a way that we can connect with the station and do something, you know, like the library should have some promotional presence and Ameet’s.

Did you know that, did you know that Ameet already had a radio background at that point?

I think we’d talked about it, maybe a little bit. Ah, we definitely both knew that we were musically, that we were music geeks. And I think you just sort of assume, you know. The more we do this show, sidebar, the more we do this show the more people say oh yeah I had a show when I was in college, like everybody had, it’s awesome. So I leaned in the door and I said we should be on the, I was just thinking, the library should be on the radio and Ameet said we should totally do a show. And I said oh, I didn’t, yeah okay. [laughs].

Yeah as soon as I said we should do a show I immediately thought, man I don’t know if I can handle talking about the library for 60 minutes, so how can we make this, you know, more palatable for a listener and also, yeah, Charlie pointed it out, we’re both into music, so is there a way to connect music and libraries in a way that hasn’t been done before and in a way that’s fun and maybe even educational.

We spent some time figuring out how to, what a good library show would be like and yeah, we quickly dispensed with we’re not going to do an hour of talk, we’re not going to go, we’re not going to do speaking of information, or this American library. We were, you know, how could we make it fun and also could we take the onus off of us cause the very first show was 46 minutes of music and 14 minutes of talk, you know, and yeah. So it was, it was a casual idea, it was an idea that Ameet misinterpreted in the best possible way and that became a proposal and I think it was six months later, it took a long time to get everybody on board and ready to go. But then we did the show, you know, you know I hadn’t. It was like morning edition except the feature story, the, except the news is music and the feature stories are library interviews. That was the, that was our first [laughs] proposal.

When you say it took six months, did it take some convincing of either library administration or the radio administration, or the college? Was there a hold up somewhere? Or.

There was just, if you’ve ever tried to get money for a library program, it was like that. We didn’t have to get any money but we had to get people to say yes and we had to get, yeah, you ask a student run station hey what’s the process to get us on the radio and they’re like, oh, yeah, we’ll figure it out, oh wait, mid-terms, so, oh wait, finals, hey somebody graduated and so it just dragged out. I forgotten the other questions you asked. You’ll have to go back to the.

Well I, I think you got most of it, it was mostly just how did the show come to be and I think that pretty much gets us there. Another part of that is sort of how do you see this show fueling the mission of Georgia Tech. Like what, why should it be on, what are you contributing to the students at the college? Is that your goal is to not only educate and entertain, not just entertain, but educate as well?

To edutate?

Maybe agitate?

I think there’s a real desire at Georgia Tech to connect faculty and students in new and interesting ways. That’s happening on the academic side, it’s been happening on the, kind of the social side of the campus. Things like study abroad and living, learning communities and I feel like we’re kind of in that camp with the, with Lost In The Stacks and we have students that are not only part of the show production, but just like to hang out and talk about libraries, which is super exciting for us.

We’re essentially embedded in a student organization cause WREK is a student organization and we are members of it so that, I mean I think on paper that’s like a, I was about to say a wet dream for libraries but I think that’s, that’s inappropriate, so, that’s a, that’s a goal of administrators [laughs] in libraries everywhere is just to have librarians connected to student life, connected to the college culture as opposed to, you know, ivory tower or come to the reference desk and ask me a question kind of stuff. So we, we got out of the library, we got out from behind the desk, we got out of our office and we connect to offices and we connect to students and then we also, we get the Georgia Tech library name out. I mean literally we advertise the library, partially to the community, partially to the campus and there are now folks all over the world who know that there’s a Georgia Tech library and that we do instruction on avoiding plagiarism, right? That’s the thing, you know, we’ve seen where this show gets listened to and it’s United Arab Emirates is one of our, I don’t, what’s the exact opposite side of the globe from Atlanta? Do you know? I’m going to guess Indonesia, I might be wrong, but I know that we’ve had downloads in, you know, in the Pacific Rim area, so, you know, the, as far away as possible people have heard of the library and have heard of library services, so I think that, that fits.

Yeah, so you’re getting the story about the mission of libraries in general out there too, not just Georgia Tech in particular, but just libraries. What American research libraries are like, so.

Yeah we have a line in every show, we are the Georgia Tech Library and we are at your service. And what that came from, well it’s a Morphine reference, the band Morphine from Boston. Because that’s how Mark Sandman would start the concerts, we are Morphine, a band from Boston, and we are at your service. I’m still on everything that’s good about the show, but also just presenting libraries, you know, trying to get people to think of libraries as a part of their culture, a part of their community, as a tool, as a platform, and as a, as a living organism that interacts with them.

*****Radio Show Clip

[music playing]

One of our old engineers actually insulted Ameet and I on the air saying that we had no idea how to put together a set that was grammatically unified, you remember that time?

Yeah.

[multiple people talking]

You try it.

Yeah it was off when Julian left and do it, it was Abanosh’s last show so we let him put together, it was like, I don’t know.

“This next set is an actual set that has a theme, are you guys listening?”

[multiple laughs]

{Wendy} You don’t want it to be too obvious and it’s not…

As long as it makes sense to me I was happy, I’m like that’s, that’s the line.

[People talking]

We only explain the “file this set” maybe once every 30 or 40 episodes, you know, if someone asks, and even that’s usually just in the studio.

Yeah.

{Wendy} I didn’t get that until maybe six months ago, back then I thought it was like a radio world thing.

But you started on the show about six months ago didn’t you?

{Wendy} well yeah, but when I came on the show, right after I started, I was what are these numbers?

[multiple people laughing]

*****End Radio Show Clip

So I want to get a little bit more into the production of the show, but before we get into that can you just tell me very briefly what your “real job” is in the library? Like what, what is your title and what do you do on a regular basis when you’re not doing the radio program?

I can’t, not briefly.

So I’m the User Experience Librarian and also the Economics Librarian. User Experience involves figuring out what we’re doing well and where we’re not doing so well and how we can improve, I think that’s the core value of the, of that effort and then economics, every subject area, every discipline at Georgia Tech has a librarian attached to that discipline, that’s the area that I help serve at school.

I am the Undergraduate Programming and Engagement Librarian and the liaison to the Office of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education and the Division of Student Affairs. So, yeah, huh.

Is that what it says on your business card?

It does not, I’m, on my business card it says Librarian I. My job is to, is really project based, trying to, undergraduate programming and undergraduate engagement, trying to connect with the students and get them to use the library academically and socially and then my liaison stuff is just I’m a name and a phone number that they can give to anybody in those support divisions so that they can start with somebody, so. It’s a huge title for pretty simple, you know, concepts.

And how much of your time do you think you, is devoted to the radio show? Of your work week. Does, I mean, does it depend on the episode, or?

Yeah, to some degree it depends on the episode. Charlie’s really the, he’s carrying the heavy load here. But, so, this actually speaks to how to do something that’s fun and interesting and see if it works before making it kind of a core part of your job. And especially when it’s something that’s kind of progressive. So we’re fortunate to be at Georgia Tech where I think there’s a progressive culture here that permeates the entire campus, every, every unit. So that’s a plus, but it also helps that the show is broadcast Fridays at noon, basically during the lunch hour on a day where there are very few meetings [laughs]. So that helps too, right, we thought of all of this very strategically at the outset, but it does matter who’s coming in the studio, you know whether it’s a phone interview or someone that’s going to be there live and we have a great crew and team of associate producers now who help us manage the load. But, yeah, Charlie, he’s the, he’s doing the heavy lifting here.

Officially four hours of my work week, officially 10%, that’s all, that’s all I ad, I now treat this a lot like a hobby.

You can all stop listening now.

Exactly and, and my boss too. It’s, radio is so enticing, it’s seductive, you can spend so much time on very simple edits and very simple production things, so I, you know, if I have a free day, like if, if my wife and child are gone for a weekend, I will end up doing 6 to 8 hours of like tweaking the show IDs, or finding bumpers, or doing music beds and listening to other shows and trying to figure out how they do their segways and how they do their credits and it’s just, it’s really fun to make it work right. Some weeks this show takes no production time at all, you just, you plug in the theme to the script and I think we’ve had phone calls where one of us has said I couldn’t get anybody for this theme so we’re just going to talk. And it’s like okay, 21 minutes of gibber jabber [laughs] but those are sometimes the most fun shows.

*****Radio Show Clip

[music playing]

So I don’t know anything about regulations etc, can you just play whatever you want to play?

Yeah.

I mean, there’s no like rights issues of radio play?

So, there’s three companies that adjudicate licensing and royalties and we basically pay them a chunk of money and they distribute it out to whoever is being played, so we’re essentially covered if ASCAP publishers these songs, we pay our ASCAP every month or every year, so it’s cool. BMI and the third one that I can never remember. Some of the stuff, like some of the stuff that Fred finds, it’s like.

I was going to say stuff like on Bandcamp…

Yeah you got, you gotta just hope that there’s never somebody who’s like how dare you play, we’ve had folks tweet us and email us and say thanks for playing my song. I forget there’s a real person who is listening to us, who’s watching for their songs, you know, I’m.

And then it’s kind of main, I mean I know you guys don’t play a lot of mainstream stuff, but I mean kind of major label person who’s got a license…

Definitely, I think there’s

Although I’m pretty sure that we play Katy Perry and that caused some problems. I’m not sure what problems it would cause.

Licensing would not be the problem.

No, I don’t think so.

[multiple people laughing]

But yeah, like there are huge conglomerates, ASCAP and BMI are just, they’re like, they pretty much have everybody.

There is an overall goal that Charlie doesn’t know about all about getting and more Katy Perry’s.

And with the pre-show conversations….

The media has a very ominous, intuitive understanding Katy Perry’s lyrics.

[multiple people laughing]

Yeah, I mean, you can draw a straight line from Dickinson to Perry.

Yeah. It only goes off the paper once or twice.

{Wendy} Is it like a long dash?

It’s, yeah, [multiple people laughing]. It’s not a direct relationship.

*****End Radio Show Clip

You guys talked about, so you’re both obviously love libraries, you love radio, what made you say well I want to get a job, I’m going to go this route? I’m going to go, I’m, now you’re able to combine them together, but what made you say I’m not going to be in radio, I’m going to be in libraries. Or was there ever a point when you may, had to make that decision, or? Yeah, just.

So, for me, the answer’s quite simple, I’m not particularly a genius at radio unlike my co-host here. I have to admit maybe a few of you have figured that out, but I don’t have the.

You press play.

[laughs] I don’t have the, you know, there’s a lot of joy I find from this project, but it’s, yeah, I don’t think in a, in a different life I’d be a radio host, I’d probably be doing something else if I wasn’t a librarian. But the librarianship part has been a lifelong love and I enjoy radio to a, I love radio, but, yeah, I like to think of it as the library is kind of my, my sun and all of these other interests are orbiting the sun, including the radio.

Radio is the equivalent, for me, it’s the equivalent of the band that you think you might get signed someday, but really, you know, you’re going to play in town, you know, and have a good time and you better keep your job so that you can pay rent. I love radio, there’s no money in it at all, we joke that the most famous radio personality that you know is not making very much money, right, it’s just. So, I, I would love to have a career in radio that gave me the same intellectual freedom and salary as my library job but it’s not going to happen unless I start at the beginning and I cannot start at the beginning, it’s far too late for me.

I also, I like to think of the radio station as kind of a laboratory where we can test out ideas of all kinds, you know, whether it’s related to the library or maybe just tangentially related, but that’s been the real joy is, it’s a platform to test out ideas, experiment with concepts and maybe talk about some kind of radical librarianship.

This show you witnessed us produce today, full of joy, full of goofiness, a lot of laughs, a lot of, a lot of silliness, but also a lot of freedom, I mean now if any of us had to do a quality show to get paid, I don’t think we’d have the freedom to mess around and play a Katy Perry song and then interrupt it with death metal and then do shout outs and, like you know, there’s. Last week we had a scripted segment that at one point had me interrupted with a detailed in-depth investigation of Katy Perry’s lyrics and it was, it was, he just ripped it on the day, he just did it and you just wouldn’t get away with that if it was, if anybody cared what we actually did [laughs]. The show’s a lot more fun because it’s not a career, because it’s a laboratory, because it’s, because it’s our professional hobby.

Well I was going to get into a little more technical stuff, but I want to ask first, sort of out of, related to that , before, when we were talking before we, before you guys did this show today, you said one of the great things about this station is that it’s weird and so you can be weird on the show, which, I, sort of you can experiment, you can do whatever you want. Can you talk a little bit about that, of sort of the culture of weird here and not, and it’s even beyond what you traditionally think of as what college radio is always experimental, but there are some standard things that are college radio and then WREK is sort of at a tangent to that.

WREK is an alternative to the alternatives. Back in the 80s there was a programming change at WREK and it, I believe that Thomas Peak, who was an amazing guy and unfortunately he’s not with us any more, but I, I met him when I was a student. Thomas Peak was a driver for that change, I think, he wrote a manifesto that had the phrase Refreshingly Weird and Music You Don’t Hear On The Radio in it and it was WREK became a station that wanted to play stuff that didn’t fit into the, the mold of oh, this is college radio, this is different that album oriented radio, or pop radio, or anything like that. Like, the jokes were sometimes true, that there was a track that was bricks hitting each other, that was played on WREK, that’s a real thing, but also music that challenged you, music that stretched your sense of aesthetics, or your sense of what music should do. There’s a show on WREK called Destroy All Music which at this point now that I’ve been listening to this stuff for as long as I have, it just sounds really good to me, but to some people it’s painful. When Wendy in our show today said how is this any better when, like she heard the death metal and she was really like oh it’s, it just needs to end, like there’s nothing wrong with that and I got no, no problem with Wendy’s musical tastes but I think that people who really love music and, and love the ideas of music want to be stretched, want to be exercised and find different places, different sounds, different palates to enjoy. And I’m getting all stupid and poetic, you listen to the beginning of The Red CD you know and that’s, to me, these days that’s really cool, I really like listening to that stuff and I think to a lot of people it’s just noise and I appreciate that WREK has helped me get there.

And there’s, there’s a great, I guess, the other side of WREK which is we’re a part of is connecting faculty to the station, so there’s a really great show called Inside The Black Box on WREK and it’s science only funnier is the tag line. And it’s, you know, it’s just a way of getting content academic, scholarly content in a place where you might not expect it. Certainly the core mission is music, but I think it’s unique for a college radio station to branch out into the scholarly academic side of the campus.

*****Radio Show Clip

File this set under BF38.E64.

[Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” plays]

Wait, wait, no, no, no, Fred what is this?

{Fred} Is there a problem, Charlie?

Yeah, there’s a problem [laughs] You, I, I am fine with many of the things that you play. I.

{Fred} Many.

Many of the things that you play, in fact all of them up until this moment.

{Fred} Oh.

What is that?

{Fred} That’s Katy Perry.

You knew that this would be a problem.

{Fred} Ah, kinda, yeah.

You know why this is a problem, cause this, it’s very hard to make Katy Perry rocking.

{Fred} Right, it’s rock and roll radio, I understand.

They get so, could, can we change this up? If you really want to stick with the Katy Perry can you do it different?

{Fred} Like dress it up a little?

Dress it up, maybe put some makeup on it and like white and black makeup and make it metal?

{Fred} Like how about, ah, death metal?

Yeah!

[death metal version of “Teenage Dream”]

[people laughing]

{Wendy} How is that better?

[multiple people laughing]

*****End Radio Show Clip

Let’s get into how you actually, just the actual production of the show. What comes first? Do you come up with a topic of what you want to do? We talked about this a little bit of the topic comes before the music because the music matches the topic, but do you have, do you have like a long, I, for this show I have like a, you know, a hundred name list of people I want to have on the show eventually. Do you keep a track of that kind of thing and then match them up to themes? Or do come themes first? Or how does that happen?

So typically we get together, we try to get together semester in advance and start spit balling ideas, things that are either directly related to libraries, or maybe just part of the culture, that have some connection to reading and libraries and scholarship. And then we have a list going of interesting people that we’d like to potentially interview and then we start clustering and figure out what kind of arc would work for a show, a series of shows about like library design or architecture, for example, and then who might be good guests, either local, to Georgia Tech, students, or others from around the world, and so that’s typically how it starts.

Yeah, and we, we end up naming those arcs, you know, we cluster those episodes and then we’re like oh this is A, this is Pop My Culture which is one we’re in right now, or wow, they all just jumped out of my head, oh Sharks Patrol These Waters, which was a legal issues in libraries series and the future, privacy, which was, oh, Surveillance and Big Bro, which you were very sad that we, that was, you ripped that just on a day, just like set it, but it just stuck. That’s, that’s the, that’s the problem with writing down everything someone says. And then, ah yeah, so theme, topic, then musical themes, it is very rare, every once in awhile I say oh I really want to play this song on the radio so what’s a theme that would match that, but it never is a straight line that way, you know, that’s like I will play When My Baby Comes by Grinder Man, I will play that, I don’t know what show, oh Infants In Libraries, awesome, we’re good. But it’s never, it never grows out of the music itself.

And you have a music producer, a music director, is that right?

Fred Rasco is our music supervisor and, and our associate producers are Wendy Hagenmeyer and Lizzy Rolando. But those are really just made up names, so that we sound like, oh and, yeah, not Wendy, Lizzy and Fred, but the position names are made up.

I was going to say you guys just put wigs on and pretend like you’re other people, so?

Right, it’s, so yeah, I like to pretend that we’re a, a show that’s produced by, you know, a media entity and so call ourselves executive producers and then you have associate producers and music supervisors. Basically we just, all five of us work on the show together now, but we’ve, we decided that Fred, whose a rock and roll librarian for real, Fred’s gonna have final cut on the music and that was a way to delegate responsibility, to have a different aesthetic in the show, to keep anybody from burning out, you know, and yeah, and Fred has excellent musical taste.

And both Wendy and Lizzy are in some, and Fred for that matter, are in areas of librarianship that are emerging, that you know. Wendy.

You know nothing about them.

Yeah, we don’t know anything about what they do, but it sounds cool [laughs]. So they come, they come at the show with their perspectives and we get together and start talking about ideas and wow, it, the ideas definitely flow. So, it’s, it’s been exciting, it’s really great to inject some new ideas and vision, talent.

And in a year we’ll fire them and get new ones.

Gonna outsource it. The, how do you guys, so you guys started out this show together and how do you decide when you’re adding people on? Like when did you bring on Fred? When did you bring on the associate producers and things like that?

Pretty much simultaneously, Ameet and I both became dads and realized that life is short and we needed help in personal and professional lives and Fred and Wendy and Lizzy had kind of all arrived roughly the same time in the library, right? And we had them all on and they, we just clicked with them.

Yeah and I think they had either been interviewed. Fred had actually been on the show and I believe Wendy and Lizzy had listened to the show, they were familiar with it and actually all three of them have some pretty great tastes in music which, for me, that was important. That’s an important criteria [laughs]. It’s one thing to know about libraries, but it’s another thing to know about the, the death metal version of Katy Perry, I mean come on.

*****Radio Show Clip

[music playing]

[laughs] The music there that you couldn’t hear was Black Sabbath covering, I mean Sound Garden covering Black Sabbath, so that’s what we just jumped to.

*****End Radio Show Clip

Do you guys get a lot of reaction from students, feedback, do you hear back from students that they like what you’re doing? Does it, I know you said you have the stats so you can kind of see where people are listening from. But, do you actually hear from students, either social media or in person or anything like that?

We hear from students occasionally. The most engaged feedback, I guess that’s the way to put it, the most thorough feedback we get are from the WREK students who appreciate what we do and, and are, and support us. We actually get more community feedback I think than anything else, and I’ve had the wonderful experience of meeting a new person, they ask what do I do, I say I’m a librarian and a radio show host and they say oh, I know a radio show about libraries, it’s on the Georgia Tech station. And I get to say I do that show with my friends. I mean that’s really incredible and so we’ve had a few, and we, you know, we have a mail bag segment and I think we only have to make up about 45%.

Yeah and you know because it’s a part of our professional lives we get to present it about this in some different venues, conferences and, and things like that and so when we, we talk to our colleagues around the country, we mention, I often mention the show, Charlie and I have worked on articles about it. So, it’s getting out there, I think, it’s hard to know what people think, it’s easy to know now how many people are listening. At the beginning it was hard to know both those questions, so maybe we’ll eventually get to the what do you think about this show at some point.

At the, at the beginning we said we have four listeners, our mothers and two people who don’t know enough to turn the channel on the [laughs] their radio. But, yeah we know we have enough listeners now cause there’s a formula and I don’t know what it is exactly, so don’t quote me on this, but it’s like, you know, one phone call is representative of a thousand listeners, or you know, some, yeah, one letter is representative of 10, or something like that, right, and so we’ve gotten phone calls, letters, and emails and so we know that there is an audience out there. Just because you don’t get random phone calls, letters and emails for you, you, whatever you do unless you have a broader body of engaged folks.

So, as you move into the future, do you guys, you seem to, but just to confirm, you guys still have energy behind this? You’re still really excited about, to do this every week?

No that was my last show that we just did, I’m done.

Yeah, we’re actually, we want to sell this show to you, that’s why we’re here. We’re willing to pay, for. No, ah, this is, I like to tell Charlie and it’s, it’s.

You have that recorded now.

[laughs] This is like one of the things that I look forward every week consistently I know I’m going to have a great laugh, I’ll probably learn something, I’ll probably get to say something stupid, all in the same 60 minute block and listen to some great music at the same time, so definitely one of the things that keeps my energy up about working here.

I actually have to stop myself from taking on new shows, or having an idea about a new show that I want to pursue, I, I want to do radio for the rest of my life and I want my kids to do radio. I mean I want this to be something that, and I know it sounds like I’m making a joke, but I’m not. Like I, I love it so much that I want to bring other people into it.

I love the idea that, that someday my kids gonna be able to like go into the archives of Lost In The Stacks and dial up [laughs] what counted as work back in 2014 [laughs].

The kids at WREK have actually said, ah, you know, they would love to see in 20 years Ameet’s son and my daughter have their own show on WREK, you know, continuing Lost In The Stacks or something. Of course me hoping this just means that my kid will be like radio is for suckers dad. I’m done.

I’ll go turn on my Katy Perry CD, or. Or, my Katy Perry brain implant, however we’re listening to music in 20 years from now. [laughs]

We have made it clear that Katy Perry was a fundamental part of this show today, that’s why we’re talking about her so much? I hope, I hope we’ve done that. She had candy on one of her dresses and an archivist had to catalog that and then her work went to waste because the candy rotted.

We should point out that archivists are some of the most interesting, they are the best guests that we’ve had. The work that archivists do is so fascinating.

And archivists as a group are so fascinating. Like, scary.

Scary in a good way, right? [laughs]

In every way! [laughs]

Well I’ll include a link in the show notes for, especially the specific episode that we’re talking about so people can go back and listen to the Katy Perry [laughs] conversation. But can, as we kind of wrap up, can you tell people where they can find about, more about you guys and the show online?

You can find us on Facebook if you use Lostinthestacks.org, that will take you to Facebook for now, but we’ll actually have a website eventually. In our copious free time we’re going to put together a website. You could tweet us @libraryradio. You can find the, the podcast blog at Lostinthestacks.libsyn.com. That’s libsyn and I tweet @bennettradio and Ameet does not tweet at…

@Ameetdoshi.

@Ameetdoshi [laughs]. You, you’re just not, you’re not so much, Ameet retweets [laughs].

I zing, I zing like nobody zings.

Ameet does zing like there ain’t no thing. And, is that it man? Is that all of our, all of our tricks?

If they want to listen to the show streaming. You can also go to WREK.org every Friday at noon and listen to the show live wherever you are and we hope to hear from you.

Yeah, oh.

Charlie’s got one more thing.

Yes, and our secret Tumblr that never gets mentioned on the actual air, or linked to in any of our social media is libraryradio.tumbler.com. And it’s, it’s a real thing I know calling it a secret, sounds like it’s not, but it’s a real thing and there’s some cool stuff on there.

Well then it is, it is a secret no longer [laughs]. So Charlie and Ameet, thank you so much for being on the show today and I hope everybody goes and takes a listen.

Thanks, Steve.

Okay bye.

Thank you.

**

[music playing]

Good show, everybody.