TBPL Enters the World of Scripted Audio Dramas

Picture this: A team of amazing library workers, known for offering superb customer service, find something amazing hidden in the old vault at the Brodie Library (the Brodie Resource Library actually has an extremely large vault). This amazing object will lead the team on the biggest treasure hunt of their lives. Clues will lead this eclectic group of employees and friends through Thunder Bay’s past in hopes of helping them piece together the mystery and locate the riches they are seeking. However, someone else is also after the treasure and they will try to thwart these library superstars at every turn. Will the team succeed and find the treasure?  You’ll have to find out by tuning in and listening to this 9-part podcast. 

For all mystery lovers out there, TBPL is about to enter the ring with its very own original story entitled “The Suspicions of Mary J.” TBPL will be offering this tale as a serialized podcast running approximately 20 minutes per episode. We felt that the medium of podcasting was a fantastic choice to get our story out to the masses. 

The phrase “scripted audio drama” appeals to me. This production isn’t an audio book, although there are numerous similarities. It isn’t a radio theatre broadcast either, even though we really tried to capture the old-time radio feel. We wanted a combination of the two for listeners to enjoy and hopefully they will.

When I first started working at the Brodie Library, I instantly fell in love with the local history collection housed there. After years of working with the collection, the idea emerged to incorporate the library’s local history collection in a serialized mystery where our main protagonists would need to utilize much of the collection in order to reach their objectives. There was no chance I could do this alone! Fortunately I work with a lot of creative and talented people. In 2018, as a small group, we began meeting to craft the story. Of all the meetings that I have ever been involved in during my career at the library, those meetings are the ones I remember most. Witnessing first hand an idea turn into an actual, by golly, tale of fiction was spectacular. Thank you to all those involved. This story would have never been written without you. 

Recording was entirely different. Thinking “how hard could this be?” I set about recording and editing our masterpiece. I will not lie and say this road was flawless. There have been many bumps along the way and we still have more work to do. We had only a small inkling of what we needed to do, and unfortunately, we were unprepared. In truth, I was the one unprepared. I have nothing but respect for anyone working with audio and was stupefied and overwhelmed by the level of detail involved and learning required (please be gentle when this production comes out, we’re still learning as we go). Neither being audio engineers nor professional actors, we are a group of people who wanted to try something different and super fun in order to promote the library. Thankfully, our supervisors and directors agreed and have backed us the entire way. Covid-19 has also put up numerous obstacles but we are doing our best to think up solutions. Hopefully everything will be ready for release sometime this year. 

We have also taken many liberties with places and people. It is a work of fiction after all, and we really, really wanted to invent our own imaginary island to feature in the drama (don’t worry, that little detail doesn’t affect the story). And hey, just to pull you in even further, our very own CEO, John Pateman, plays a character in our production. Speaking of which, Mr. Pateman, we need to record those lines.

If you are interested in creative writing or thinking about developing your very own podcast, please contact the library (345-8275 / comments@tbpl.ca) or visit us online and we will gladly assist you in your endeavours. What’s that you say? No library card? Do not fret, we can assist with that as well.

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