The Nelson library’s podcast club is like a book club, but for podcasts. Photo: Submitted

The Nelson library’s podcast club is like a book club, but for podcasts. Photo: Submitted

CHECK THIS OUT: Happiness at the library

Columnist Avi Silberstein invites you to the library’s podcast club

by Avi Silberstein

If I had to use one word to describe 2020, it would most definitely not be the word “happy.”

“Interesting” maybe, if we’re trying to put a positive spin on things. Or the often overused “unprecedented.”

But “happy”? Not quite. And yet, isn’t happiness what we’re striving for most of the time? Happiness in our relationships, with our family, at our workplace, with friends. It’s an elusive concept, sometimes hard to define, always hard to measure, but one that people love to talk about.

And if you’re one of those people, you’re in luck, because here at the library we’ve got a brand-new Podcast Club (motto: “Like a book club but for podcasts!”), and our February theme is none other than happiness.

It’s simple: all you have to do is listen to a curated list of four podcasts, and then join the discussion. In a total listening time of 2.5 hours you’ll learn all about the many different layers of happiness, including the Gross National Happiness Index, the wellness industry, and the things we can do personally to increase our happiness.

You’ll be listening to episodes from the BBC’s Thinking Allowed podcast, NPR’s Hidden Brain, The Happiness Lab, and Upstream. Links to the specific episodes will be sent to you when you register.

The meeting will be on Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom. To register email the library’s Heather Goldik at

For those of you who would love to join a book club but can’t seem to find the time, this is the club for you. No long books to read, just throw on a pair of headphones and listen to the podcasts while you commute, do chores or go for a walk.

And if you need help downloading or accessing the podcasts you can call the library at 352-6333 and we’ll walk you through it.

Why a Podcast Club, you might ask?

“The idea came about because I love podcasts,” says Heather. “It’s such a great way to learn something new in a really accessible way. I can listen to experts and authors of books share their knowledge and learn a bit myself. I can dip my toe into this well of knowledge without committing to a 400-page book!

“The Podcast Club allows us as a community to learn from experts from all over the world in a relatively barrier-free way, and then share and discuss that content, as well as bring our own perspectives and experience to the conversation.”

If you’ve never listened to a podcast before, this is a perfect time to start. We’re in the golden age of podcasting, with over 800,000 active podcasts worldwide, and over 54 million episodes.

If you love the idea of the Podcast Club but are not terribly interested in happiness, stay tuned for future themes, which may include habits, climate change, creativity, homelessness, the brain, and more.

And if you love podcasts so much that you want to record your own, you’ll be happy (*wink*) to know that once our library’s brand-new Tech Hub is launched you’ll have access to a podcast recording studio outfitted with everything you need to get started, including microphones, computers, and editing software.

And now, I’ll ask that you please join me in hoping 2021 is far less interesting and unprecedented than 2020. And maybe a little happier.

Avi Silberstein is the Children’s Librarian at the Nelson Public Library. Check This Out runs every other week. If you’re interested in learning more about library programs and services, sign up for our monthly newsletter on our website or by giving us a call.

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