I’ve been a big fan of podcasts for a long time, and I love that podcasts are, once again, on the radar and a popular topic of conversation. Several times over the last few months I’ve heard people say, “Have you listened to [insert podcast name]? It’s so great!” Podcasts sometimes feel like short little audio books; perfect snippets for those of us with limited spare time or those of us with commitment issues. I listen to popular podcasts like Serial and Hidden Brain, literary podcasts like The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, music podcasts like Tiny Desk, and book podcasts like Book Riot.
Recently, I decided that it was time to take podcasting into my own hands. I’m an avid reader, and because of my role as the school’s “librarian” (even though that’s not my official title), I’m often asked to help others find a book. In conjunction, I’m also in a high school setting which can sometimes be a finicky place to get reading traffic in to the library. High schools aren’t like elementary and middle schools where classes of kids come down once a week to check books in and out. Instead, I often rely on the roaming traveler in the book stacks or the rare, “My friend said I just HAVE to read this book!” for foot traffic. Podcasting seemed like the logical blending of these two situations. I could push out my book recommendations and at the same time try to create a bit more excitement about reading and the new books we have available.
Stress affects everyone, and end-of-year stress can be particularly difficult. Many of us are struggling to finish up all our work for the end of the semester, or celebrating holidays and all that comes with it, in addition to dealing with every single other thing that was already driving us crazy all year long! Patrons have less patience, money is suddenly tighter, and all kinds of extra programs can just cause even the best-balanced library person to hit a breaking point.
CMLE is here to help you. This month we will provide all kinds of information about stress, to help you learn more about it, and learn some strategies for managing stress. You cannot stop stress from happening, but we can all learn better ways to increase our resilience so stress does not knock us out!
One easy way to help is to listen to podcasts.
Of course, there are all kinds of librarian podcasts out there, and we recommend those as nice way to keep up with interesting things happening in the profession!
Host Phil Morehart presents Episode Four of ALA’s Dewey Decibal podcast series that hopes to bring the convention to you. The podcast features interviews with a variety of staffers and speakers, including Peter Coyl and Michael Eric Dyson. Hosts also interview some of the 16,000 librarians and library professionals right from the conference floor, where they speak about their experience and the role they play in the world of libraries. Hearing the background noise and excitement in the voices of the attendees help to transport you to the energy of the conference.
Podcasts can be a great way to find out new information, and to pass time as you walk the dog or do dishes or other activities that leave your mind restless. This is an increasingly popular way of sharing information by individuals and organizations, on every topic out there. So of course, librarians are there! If cool things are happening with information – you can always find a librarian in the middle of it.
If you have not explored this yet, there are podcasts on every possible subject. Some are great, some are…less great; but it’s always interesting to hear what people have to say about a topic they are excited about sharing. (I am currently working my way through two different Mr. Robot podcasts, after I watch the episode on TV each week!) You can get a variety of free apps for your phone, if you do not already have one. Stitcher, Pocket Casts, Overcast, or Podcast Republic are popular and easy to use; and there are dozens of other choices. Find an app you like, then you just start searching around for different ones that sound interesting to you. They may come out daily, Monday through Friday, weekly, or irregularly; but your app will let you know when each new one arrives, and you can set it to automatically download the episodes if you want to do that.
Librarians podcast about the profession – and there is always a lot to share! Here are podcasts from librarians about the profession, service, and their experiences.
Professional Book Nerds: “We’re not just book nerds: we’re professional book nerds and the staff librarians who work at OverDrive, the leading app for eBooks and audiobooks available through public libraries and schools.”
The Worst Bestsellers: “Worst Bestsellers is a podcast where Kait, Renata, and a guest talk about popular books of questionable quality. It’s kind of like How Did This Get Made? or Mystery Science Theater 3000, but for books…We’re reading these books because we’re curious about what’s popular, and also, reading these books gives us a better idea of what’s popular and how to give good readers advisory. We make jokes about the books we read, but our intent is never to make fun of readers.”
S.S. Librarianship: “We’re Alli & Sam. We met in a pub the night before our first day of library school, and since then we’ve been through a lot together – classes, jobs, weddings, D&D campaigns – always finding ourselves engrossed in wide-ranging conversations about television, film, books, technology, and what it means to be a young, nerdy, lady librarian in the 21st century. This podcast is our invitation to you to join our conversation. We hope you’ll join us by sending in a question, comment, or topic for us to discuss on the show!”
Circulating Ideas: “For more than five years, I have facilitated conversations about the great work that librarians are doing to keep libraries vibrant and relevant in the 21st century, talking to over 100 librarians and library supporters!” (You can support his Patreon here.)
Secret Stacks: “Secret Stacks is YOUR comics in libraries podcast! Secret Stacks invites you to join a conversation between Kristin LaLonde and Thomas Maluck, two librarians who will share comics and graphic novel news, readers advisory, guest interviews, and tales from the front lines of conventions and library services. Each podcast episode is scheduled to record on the last Sunday of each month.”
Beyond the Stacks: “A podcast exploring interesting and unexpected career paths for librarians and information professionals.”
Lost in the Stacks: “The one and only Research Library Rock’n’Roll show! Ameet and Charlie from the Georgia Tech Library pick a theme and free-associate an hour of music, interviews, and library talk every Friday for lunch. You’ll hear indie rock, pop rock, alt rock, New Wave, and the occasional oddity in between interviews with students, faculty, and librarians.”
Librarians also podcast designed for their patrons, as another service provided to their communities. Look and listen to these, and see if they stimulate any ideas for your own library!
Ann Arbor District Library: Browsing through their list, there are podcasts about local Ann Arbor history and service, as well as author interviews, and general information.
The New York Public Library Podcast: “A beacon of books, ideas, and education in a city described as the cultural capital of the world, the Library hosts more than 55,000 programs annually. Listen to some of the most engaging and memorable recent programs, discover new ideas, and celebrate the best of today’s culture.”
Note from Mary: this took forever to create, because I kept stopping to add them to my own podcast app! There are dozens of other interesting librarian podcasts out there; if you have one not mentioned here, add it in the comments.
Would you like to set up a podcast in your library? That sounds like a great idea! This would be a very interesting topic in our Continuing Education series of programs if there is interest. Check in with me if you want us to set this up!
Does your library podcast? We want to hear about it! Send me an email, and I would love to come talk to you about how you got it started, what your programming lineup is, and about your plans for the future.
CMLE invests precious dollars in assorted professional memberships in order to keep our staff current and connected to what is happening in the library field. This investment helps our staff identify important content for our Weekly Review newsletter content and upcoming events. We understand our role to support and augment what our readers can financially commit to with their limited resources. And hopefully, as a result of our efforts to share resources, all library staff have the tools to stay professionally relevant and current!
This week, we are excited to share an article produced by the American Library Association in January called Hearing Voices: Librarian-Produced Podcasts. Winter is a perfect time to listen to podcasts during cozy evenings while working on adult coloring books, quilting, scrapbooking, or, fill in the blank here. This article includes links to eight podcasters that you can try on for size. Let us know in comments what you think!
Image credit: https://unsplash.com/ (Sebastian Unrau), licensed under CC0 1.0