What’s happening at the Library?

Published 12:35 pm Tuesday, March 7, 2023

By James Gardner

Clark County Public Library

Most of our patrons might know reference librarian Brad Allard from his position at the reference desk, but others who have been to Japan might have seen Brad there, absorbing the culture and taking in the sights. Brad has a BA in English, an MA in Japanese literature, and the standard MLS. He’s always had a passing interest in Japanese culture but really explored it in his academic studies: “I did watch anime and play games when I was a kid, but I didn’t really seriously study it academically until I started reading Japanese literature back in college. The history, culture, and philosophy really fascinated me.”

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First going to Japan as an undergrad, Brad has gone to Japan a grand total of seven times, and he plans on going to Japan later this month. Having seen the Studio Ghibli museum, as well as many Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, during his first visit, he’s also seen, on subsequent visits, “the Great Buddha at Kamakura, Mt. Fuji, the port town of Hakodate, and even ground zero of the atomic bombing in Nagasaki.” What keeps Brad coming back to Japan? Brad explains, “Once I first went there, I became hooked. Even though I have been so many times, I still have yet to scratch the surface of the whole country.”

Brad also says there’s a lot to love about Japan and seeing new places. Brad states, “Along with all the amazing places I’ve been and the food I’ve gotten to try, the best memories have come from all the amazing people I’ve been able to meet. I’ve met so many people from all over the world in Japan and have really broadened my horizons.” Though he likes Japan, Brad revealed that there are other places on his travel itinerary. When asked where other places he’d like to visit, he answers, “Too many! In the near future, I would love to go to South Korea, Thailand, and Taiwan for sure.”

Lucky for us, Brad has brought his experiences and love of Japanese culture with the rest of the library’s patrons. When Brad isn’t at the reference desk, you might see him as part of the Teen’s Pokemon League, which he enjoys. Brad admitted, “All of the teens and tweens who have come to my programs have been amazing and really keep me going.” He also shares his origami skills with the library. Picking up the skill while studying and living in Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture (district), Brad stocks the origami station by the reference desk and has even offered origami classes for our patrons. When teaching patrons how to do origami, Brad said he notices “everyone’s excitement at creating art even though they didn’t think they ever could.” Hopefully, when Brad returns, he will have lots more experiences and knowledge to share with the library.

Upcoming events

• On Tuesday night March 7 at 6 pm, travel to a world of both dragons and dungeons in the library’s Adult Dungeons & Dragons Group at Night! It’s a grand heist full of danger, deceptions, and definitely some dungeons in the city of Waterdeep. Contact Dungeon Master Mary Patterson at mary.clarkbooks@gmail.com for more details.

• And for our Kentucky Picture Show, taking place on March 8 at 2 pm, travel back to 1979 when Norma Rae (Sally Field) rallies her fellow workers behind the cause of unionism. Her decision rankles her family, especially her fiancé, Sonny (Beau Bridges), and provokes no shortage of contempt from her employers. Snacks will be provided.