At the Library, Patrons Check Out Death Discussions
October 15, 2019 8:25 PM   Subscribe

Death Discussions Some Alexandria Library patrons are browsing more than just books: these days they’re also checking out discussions about death.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a (7 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I could see attending these kinds of discussions at my local library if they were happening. Which they don't seem to be. But it seems like a healthy thing to do, and informational about a lot of facets related to the topic of death, and that attendance over time could be greatly beneficial. I'm in my early 50s and so mortality is sort of a topic of thought but is not *knock on wood* an imminent topic so maybe now is the right time to start talking about it in such a forum.
posted by hippybear at 8:55 PM on October 15, 2019

As the Jack Chick post shows...

Death is always right around the corner. Especially if you don't love Jesus.

posted by Windopaene at 9:55 PM on October 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

Huh. Duncan Library was my childhood library. I still remember getting my first library card there.
posted by biogeo at 10:48 PM on October 15, 2019

This is excellent. I attended a series of talks a few years ago around Atul Gawande's Being Mortal (mentioned in the article) and found it really eye-opening. I was among the youngest in the crowd in my early 30s. Some folks were there for themselves and some because they were/would be doing eldercare. I think we need more discussion around death, dying, and grief (recently, previously) rather than pretending it doesn't exist and then feeling discomfort when someone we know is dealing with it or finding ourselves feeling alone and devastated when it directly affects us.

I hope this program spreads the way popular library programming often does.
posted by carrioncomfort at 6:39 AM on October 16, 2019

Interesting post, thanks! I like the idea of using morbid curiosity to open the door for discussions on mortality and death.

[And a nudge to include the MementoMoriOctober tag]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:16 AM on October 16, 2019

I know of a few things like this here in the UK - the Dead Good Reading Club in Redbridge for example - but this is fantastic. A good idea done well .
posted by YoungStencil at 11:05 AM on October 16, 2019

I've done Death Cafes several times at my library, first having outside leaders come in, then leading myself.
I've found the discussions very rewarding --there is definite interest in the community.
More information about Death Cafes can be found here--you can see if there's one in your town!
posted by exceptinsects at 4:38 PM on October 17, 2019

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