Why the Los Angeles Public Library’s ALOUD Program Has to Change

By Kenneth Brecher
From: Los Angeles Times

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If you believe recent reports, the Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ ALOUD program, where literati come to see important authors interviewed about their works, is doomed.

These reports have prompted dire appeals at public meetings, angry opinion pieces and a petition protesting the reported demise of a program that has been at the heart of a small sector of the writing community.

I’d be outraged, too, if ALOUD were going away. But it isn’t.

The truth is we at the Library Foundation are changing ALOUD, and we’re changing it because we must.

The ALOUD literary series was created 16 years ago, and it has failed to keep up with the profound social and demographic changes that are reshaping the city and its cultural life. Our data show that it serves a very dedicated, niche audience that is increasingly unrepresentative of the patrons in the library system’s 470-square-mile service area.

The foundation has known this for some time. Since 2014, a number of outside consultants have warned that ALOUD was beginning to stagnate. Its one-on-one interview format, once cutting-edge, was no longer unique. Its weeknight schedule of free programs anchored at the Central Library’s Taper Auditorium has rendered the series all but inaccessible to much of the public. Read Rest of Article Here

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