On a + note


Meet Alice. #50: 2011

Posted in on a + note by Admin on January 24, 2011

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a short YouTube documentary that has been resonating in my brain, so I thought I’d share it with you. It is an inspiring piece, a triumph of spirit, a celebration of music, and ultimately, a testament of the human spirit’s ability to empower and sustain.
Alice Dancing Under the Gallows is a fabulous interview with the simply amazing Alice Herz-Sommer. Alice is the oldest holocaust survivor in the world, and, at age 107, is still playing the piano and explaining life to us! Have a look… http://www.youtube.com/user/AliceTheFilm
What really resonated with me was when she said, “the worst thing in life, in my opinion, is boredom.” At first, I was shocked at this coming from a holocaust survivor; I thought she would note that war or man’s inhumanity to man were the worst. Of course, as a librarian, I had to look up the definition of “boredom” to be sure I was thinking of the same thing. The word “boredom” is derived from a French word and is defined as a reaction to dull, repetitive, or tedious activities; it is also defined as suffering from a lack of interesting things to see, hear, or do.
For librarians, I would suggest this is truly great news, as we are the great eliminators of boredom! We are the lifelong learners and the folks who always can find something for anyone (even my brother, the non-reading car guy!) to tweak their fancy, challenge their thoughts, help them escape, or help them cope. Alice, libraries are the answer to fighting boredom!
The other thing that struck me was when, in her delightful accent, Alice said, “laughter is something beautiful.” She spoke about the physiological and psychological benefits of laughter. Librarians tend to be a serious lot. So, in this new year and in my new job, I really appreciate her words about the power of laughter and how life-assuring and important it is.
So, here’s to Alice and to the library workers around the world who eliminate boredom every single day and who understand the beauty of laughter.
Have a great week.
Kitty Pope #50 January /11
kpope@library.guelph.on.ca

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One Response to 'Meet Alice. #50: 2011'

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  1. I saw this “Alice” film too and was so elated to see her life recorded. The important thing to realize is that anyone – especially the elderly have such wisdom to impart and we are losing their stories daily. I was struck by your comment in the Mercury: “I find there is nothing more invigorating than change and new ideas.” We should work together! My new business is all about moving along with all the new ideas, incorporating new technology in order to do something that preserves stories for generations. We can keep the past with us like never before, bring disconnected families back together, and have a daily sense of perspective by reflecting on the stories of our elders – all while moving along with changes in tech and using new ideas. Please check out my new idea! http://www.silverscenesproductions.com
    And thanks for the amazing changes at the Library. My kids were flabbergasted – and now their dvd’s are available on the same level! Nice one!


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