Jamie Paul, an Events and Marketing Librarian, shares what it is like to shift all library programming onto Zoom and try to keep the public engaged on social media. Jamie shares what it is like to be “zoom bombed” and her thoughts on expanding digital access. For more on Jamie’s career and service in Teach for America, check out episode 7.
Mentioned in this episode:
- Episode 7 – I called my boss a racist and other stories with Jamie Paul
- Flagstaff Library Facebook
- Flagstaff Library Instagram
- Flagstaff Library YouTube
- Bright Side Bookshop
- COVID Pinterest Board
- City of Flagstaff Library
- Fizzle Referral
00:06 Speaker 1: This is “Do Good, Be Good”, the show about helpful people and the challenges they face in trying to do good. Your host is Sharon Tewksbury-Bloom, a career do-gooder, who also loves craft beer and a good hard tackle in rugby. Sharon speaks to everyday people about why they do good and what it means to be good.
00:26 Sharon Tewksbury-Bloom: Hello, I’m your host, Sharon Tewksbury-Bloom. I hope this finds you safe and well. On the show we’ve been going back and checking in with past guests to see what’s happened since the last time I talked to them, and how they’re coping right now. Today’s guest is Jamie Paul. I last spoke to her two and a half years ago, and back then in 2017 she was working as a kindergarten teacher, but now she’s working for the City of Flagstaff library. I spoke to her during this interview on April 28, so it was a few weeks ago. But most things remain the same. If you wanna learn about how Jamie got started in her career, and some stories from her time serving in Teach for America, I strongly encourage you to go back and listen to episode seven, “I called my boss a racist and other stories”, with Jamie Paul. It’s a fun one and I think you’ll enjoy it. You can find the link to that episode in today’s episode show notes or episode description. All you need to know for now is that Jamie and I live in Flagstaff, Arizona, and she works for our local library. Let’s jump in to my conversation with Jamie Paul.
01:40 ST: How are you?
01:40 Jamie Paul: I’m pretty good, how are you?
01:44 ST: Pretty good. Yeah, I think I feel like I’m entering a new phase of this whole crisis on a personal level, and I’m picking up books at the library this week, so I’m excited.
02:00 JP: You’re welcome. I don’t really go there but I’ve been going to the Woods the whole time, because I like the Woods. I’ve had groceries delivered, I’ve gone down to the grocery store. I went once on March 15th, right before we started staying home, and then I went once on Friday, ’cause I had to get a prescription that they wouldn’t mail, but I wore a bandana. Yeah, mostly just… I was in India when it started, in the beginning of February, when people were just starting to talk about it a lot, I was flying to India. They were asking us if we had been in China in the last 14 days on the way there and on the way back, and I was still like, it’s like the flu, this is not a big problem. And then it just seemed to change really fast, and the shift in information changed really fast. So yeah, I’m really into the totally staying home too. I have siblings that work in hospitals all over the country, but and I really like staying home. I like it. I think it’s great. My pets are here. I just occasionally cry for no reason, but everyone is doing their thing.
03:10 ST: Yeah, wait, so moving back for a minute, why were you in India?
03:15 JP: One of my best friends who’s my adoptive brother, he lives in India, with his wife and their kids, and they’re all like, my nephews and nieces; she’s like my sister too. We met in TFA in Houston, but we’re ear-twins, we have the same size weird ears. It’s a long story. So yeah, we’ve been like family since 2000. They were teaching at the embassy school in Delhi, and so we planned it last summer. I got the tickets last August, and went to India for two weeks, right at the beginning of the pandemic.
03:52 ST: What is work like these days?
03:55 JP: I have one of the prime jobs for working online actually, since I’m programming, so we can do a lot of that virtually. And then social media which… I feel like I’m just helping people laugh right now with social media, so that’s been really interesting, ’cause you can look and see what people are looking at and what they like. In the beginning we shared news, and no one, no one, no one. So we started a Pinterest board that I’m actually quite excited about, although I wasn’t excited about Pinterest in my life previously, where we put news articles and resources and then, when your kid has to write a report about the COVID pandemic in five years, they could go to our Pinterest board, and it will be a resource that they could use. And if right now you’re not scared of the news, or if you want to look at something specific without giving it bombarding your timeline, you can go to the Pinterest board. So, I’m actually really proud of the Pinterest board. [chuckle] And then people like funny things so we mostly share lots of funny things, like good news, Kermit singing songs, stuff like that. That’s been really fun. And there’s been so many, virtual field trip to the San Diego Zoo, and that sort of thing. And then we started doing “Goodnight Flagstaff”, which is people reading chapters of Harry Potter, which is really fun. Have you read a chapter yet?
05:17 ST: I don’t have… I’ve never read Harry Potter.
05:18 JP: [05:18] ____ Stacy Morrison has also never read Harry Potter. I’m learning secrets about people. These are like skeletons in their closets.
05:27 ST: I know I say it cautiously ashamedly.
05:29 JP: It’s like saying you don’t like puppies. Yeah but… [laughter]
05:32 ST: Yeah.
05:35 S1: If you want to read a chapter, I could send you a chapter to read, ’cause it’s really fun. People have been really getting into it. We’re in… The third book starts on Friday; so we’ve been doing a chapter a night, and it’s just been really cute, ’cause some people are from theatrical, and then some cases like a really cool mom, and then some have said like really, really fast. And sometimes they do voices and you’re like… And sometimes they do really good voices. It just like it runs the gamut. And it’s so fun to listen to, ’cause they always say who they are and what they do in Flagstaff, and how they got involved or why they want to read this chapter. We only had one Zoom bombed by a bare butt, so that was exciting. I was like, “Ahhh”. It was one of the writing Zooms that we had…
06:19 ST: Alright wait, start this story from the beginning.
06:22 JP: Okay, so there’s this thing where people “Zoom Bomb”, and it’s called the…
06:27 ST: I’ve heard of it. I haven’t experienced it myself.
06:30 JP: Yeah, some people call it “Porn Bombing”, and that makes it sound maybe a little bit even more deleterious than it was, but… People can destroy the Zoom if they have the information, if you don’t have it set up a certain way. So I had posted, in the beginning weeks of the pandemic, this information for the Zoom everywhere ’cause it’s like try to get people to come. And so there was four ladies and a little boy who belonged to one of the ladies on the Zoom. And then I’m like, “This guy named Josh wants to come, do you guys know… Is that the guy, is that the guy come on Thursday night sometimes?” ‘Cause there’s this one guy whose name I always forget. And we’re all like, “I don’t know, that could be him”.
07:05 JP: And so I let the guy into the group, but his camera doesn’t show it just says Josh, right? And so, we keep talking and then a few minutes later my computer starts to do weird things, and then all of a sudden his account takes over my screen. And then it’s his big bare butt, well not big, it’s a skinny little white butt shaking in front of our camera and I was like, “Ah!” [laughter] I had to shut down the whole thing and then re-invite the people who were there and the little boy, Kate’s little boy, was like it’s the best thing that’s happened since the pandemic. He’s like “And it is so cool”. Although I wish people with nice butts would moon instead of people… I don’t understand why that’s sort of a thing. People should show off their nice butts, keep the other ones. And not to be judgy, [laughter] but if you’re gonna moon me it makes sense, yeah.
07:52 ST: You’re putting it out there, [laughter] uhm.
07:54 JP: Yeah, yes! Literally. [laughter] That’s only happened once though. And like Zoom has a bad reputation for that, but I guess they used to have really short addresses. So you could easily guess a Zoom address and it might be a real one at any time. And they’ve like… The pandemic has been brought to you by Zoom. And so, they so they [08:11] ____ and it’s gotten a little better. [laughter]
08:13 ST: Yeah, yeah we’re all have to gonna learn. Like I am learning about all those extra features too, like the waiting room and then all that stuff. [chuckle]
08:20 JP: Yeah. Yeah, and if it says someone’s gonna take over your screen, you can say no. [laughter] I probably could’ve stop that from happening but I didn’t know what I was doing yet.
08:36 ST: Just a quick break to remind you that the show notes from today’s episode can be found at dogoodbegoodshow.com. Are you interested in starting a blog, a podcast, or an online business? Well, I learned how to launch this podcast at Fizzle. Fizzle’s an amazing online community to help people who wanna earn a living, doing something they love. They have road map and courses and coaching and community. You can try a free month for just one dollar using my referral link. At fizzle.co? Aid=17351. That is probably too hard to remember, so just click on the link in the show notes of today’s episode. You can find all of our show notes at dogoodbegoodshow.com. If you have any questions, contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, that’s email@example.com.
09:37 ST: So you’re not involved in the actual going into the library and dealing with pick up or anything.
09:43 JP: No, I’ve been there but that’s not… That’s not really my job. You know, there’s lots of different thoughts and feelings about it in the library world and outside of it. But the public, overall, is super, super excited about it. And they are, they put it outside on a table and close the door and there’s waiting squares. For the public, I think it’s probably a pretty low-risk endeavor, and they seemed real excited. I would’ve preferred to push our e-resources, ’cause we have a lot of e-resources. There was a meme that was shared earlier this week. You know there’s one where this lady is like, and it’s like two ladies and it’s… And it’s like…
10:25 ST: That, that went really well on audio. [laughter]
10:27 JP: So she makes a face that’s like “No way”. And underneath that face, it’s like expand access to virtual resources and then you make a face is like “Hmm maybe”, and that’s under curbside holds. So, library as a whole, there’s lots of people who would push to have you know… Let’s work on a virtual access game for people who haven’t traditionally had access. But it seems like the low-hanging fruit is, let’s hand people paper books ’cause we’ve got them.
10:57 ST: Yeah, it’s interesting ’cause I could see both sides. Yeah, ’cause I know I’m so excited about the pickup and I bought books from Bright Side Bookshop because I’m just… I am feeling overwhelmed by the amount of technology needed to just live life right now and I’m just craving those analog experiences of gardening and cooking and reading actual paper books. But on the other hand, I’ve been excited to see… I know NAU, IT went out and started setting up Wi-Fi network on parts of the reservation.
11:34 JP: Oh that’s awesome! Yes.
11:36 ST: Yeah.
11:36 JP: To see libraries be in that game.
11:39 ST: Because students are being required to take class online and it’s like, well, if you don’t have reliable internet access where you live, how can you imagine that these students that are part of your college are gonna be able to actually still go to class? Okay, anything I didn’t ask you about that you had wanted to share with the good people?
12:00 JP: No, I mean as far as working the library, it’s been really… Everyone’s been really happy to know that people do miss us and like going to the library so that’s been really cool. I have really liked to highlight our virtual offering, that’s been pretty nice. And maybe in the future we’ll be able to add the virtual component onto stuff we’re doing in the library so we can increase access distance-wise to programming. I’m hoping there’s a lot of things that a lot of us do that make… When we come back it’ll be 2.0 better than ever Flagstaff, the library, the world, whatever. So…
12:38 ST: Yeah.
12:38 JP: Hopefully. Trying to be optimistic about that.
12:40 ST: I hope so.
12:41 JP: [12:41] ____.
12:43 ST: And I hope the opposite is true, that when we come back we’ll also adopt some of the mindset of not doing all the things as well and being okay with quieter time at home. Like you know, I’d rather just… I heard someone else saying… So I don’t take credit for this but they were like “Once we’re back, we know that there’s gonna come a time when everyone’s gonna be like, You know, let’s have a quarantine weekend”.
13:11 JP: Yeah.
13:12 ST: “Let’s have a throwback and like do puzzles and stay at home and”… [chuckle]
13:19 JP: I think especially for kids, one of my sisters, her boys are like in kindergarten and third grade I think, and they’re having the time of their lives. And they live outside of Portland, and they just are playing with each other in the backyard all day. And she’s like, “They were supposed to do T-ball and Jiu Jitsu and a bunch of other things and they haven’t asked about it at all. They’re totally good with just running around the backyard all day long.” [laughter]
13:50 ST: Yeah. My niece is like living her best life. I mean she’s trapped in an apartment in New York City, but…
13:56 JP: Yeah.
13:56 ST: She doesn’t really know any different so she has both parents at home all day long with her.
14:03 JP: She’s like, “It’s like giant vacation live at my house.
14:07 ST: Yeah, she’s like “bed forts all the time” and…
14:11 JP: Yeah, so there’s good things. Hopefully they… Hopefully we’ll just remember lots of good things in the end and the universal health care.
14:23 JP: Stuff like that. [laughter]
14:24 ST: Alright, good note to end on.
14:27 ST: I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Jamie, thank you for listening to Do Good, Be Good. For show notes on all of our episodes visit dogoodbegoodshow.com. Remember to check out the link for Fizzle and support our show. You can also support the show by sharing this episode with a friend who you think might enjoy it, or by subscribing. To subscribe to this podcast for free, just search for do good, be good, in Apple Podcast Stitcher, Spotify, Google Music or your podcast app of choice.
14:58 ST: This podcast was produced by me, edited by me, hosted by me and everything else was done by me. Music in this episode is Bathed In Fine Dust by Andy G Cohen, released under Creative Commons Attribution international license and discovered in the free music archive, until next week. This is Sharon Tewksbury-Bloom signing off.