Luster checks out books for frequent library visitor Phyllis Smith. Luster says she thinks of herself as a book curator.
Credit Jennifer Davidson / KSMU
Rachel Reynolds Luster became the Myrtle, Mo., librarian four months ago. The town rests in the rural Ozarks, about 5 miles north of the Arkansas state line. The nearest major bookstore is two hours away.
There's one state highway running through Myrtle, Mo. It's a sleepy town in the Ozarks, population about 300. There's no bank or restaurant here, but enormous oak and persimmon trees loom over a small stone building right next to the road. Half of it is a post office; the other half, a one-room public library.
Rachel Reynolds Luster took over this branch four months ago with the goal of creating a learning hub. She calls herself a curator, not just a librarian.
Her first task? Filtering out some of the favorites of the previous librarian.
Radio documentarian Dave Isay stands next to one of two StoryCorps Airstream trailers outfitted with recording studios a few years after the project was launched. StoryCorps is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
NPR's Steve Inskeep has a confession to make. In order to remain composed as the host of Morning Edition, he sometimes has to turn the volume down in the studio when the StoryCorps segment airs on Fridays.
"I just wait for the clock to run down so I know when to talk at the end because otherwise I know I'm going to lose it if I listen to that story," Inskeep tells StoryCorps founder Dave Isay. "It's deeply moving."