Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Re-districting Trial / Libraries in 2018

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, WITF's Smart Talk | Dec 20, 2017 8:00 PM
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Pennsylvania's congressional districts

On the Thursday December 21st, 2017 edition of WITF's Smart Talk:

The case before the State Supreme Court regarding the re-districting of Pennsylvania's congressional districts has been adjourned and Commonwealth Court Judge P. Kevin Brobson is expected to issue an opinion in January.  Another Pennsylvania re-districting case is being heard before a federal court.

At stake is the integrity of the district lines as drawn by Republican lawmakers in 2011; critics argue that the state has 807,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans and the fact that 13 of 18 congressional delegates are Republican points to malfeasence in the last district drawing process; that Republicans drew district lines to their favor.


Keystone Crossroads reporters Emily Previti (WITF) and Lindsay Lazarski (WHYY)


Keystone Crossroads reporters Emily Previti and Lindsay Lazarski have been covering the re-districting cases at both the state and federal levels; they join Thursday's Smart Talk to parse out the progress of these cases.

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Also, the anachronism of musty, dusty old libraries with creaky wooden floors and mildewed books has given way to high-tech facilities with services more on par with a Silicon Valley tech firm.  For years we've seen the modernization of public libraries, from recorded music and DVDs to basic computer usage and then net access.

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Hershey Public Library circa. 1932

Today, area libraries are offering amenities such as virtual-reality headsets, lending of WiFi hotspots and reference and text e-books.  Other services include GED programs and classes in financial literacy.  The focus of the libraries will always be to provide print material for readers, and the libraries in the region keep that tradition alive with author presentations and inter-active experiences, like a starship simulator for kids.

On Thursday's Smart Talk, we discuss library sciences in the 21st century and the services available for mid-state Pennsylvanians with Laura O'Grady, Director of Library Services for Derry Township's Hershey Public Library and Christi Bruker, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Library Association.


on re-districting

Will you talk about the strategy for getting SB 22 passed by the senate? What specific actions you are taking and how you are publicly reporting them?   - Robert

on libraries

- Libraries aren't what they were in my childhood: they are more and better!

I tutor an adult learning to read at Martin Library in York at one of many small study rooms; she is able to get guidance toward books she can now read that are appropriate to a new adult reader.

We see the computer desks full nearly every week when we arrive at 9 am - many adults wait for the 9 am opening to get a computer for their personal and employment needs. 

Staff, both paid and volunteer, are excellent and helpful.

New ways to select, find, hold and return books, videos, movies, etc. have been a part of the York County Library System: Laura O'Grady was part of that process.

In my sister's suburban Boston library, a lending service for rarely used appliances exists: need a carpet shampoo-er, borrow it; need a record-to-CD converter, borrow it.

I also know that York had a Human Library event and would encourage that as another way to help us understand other people and their beliefs.  - Cathy

- When will we get a Library App?

Maryland has a system where each county has its own App                           - Lynn 

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