Podcasts and Ideas: Building Better Libraries.

I love listening to podcasts. I like learning about various topics on the subject and laughing at a comedy podcast as well. They are available through a variety of devices from smartphones to laptops on different services like Spotify which I use, iTunes, and other forms of apps. This blog, I am going over some of the histories of podcasts, what they are and how libraries plus their patrons would use podcasts.

Podcasting in Plain English: a basic overview

What are podcasts? Audio files released in parts as an episodic series. Listeners can subscribe, download and listen to the podcast on their devices.

How does it work?

It is a way for users to show their personality and ideas with others. It requires a lot of set up like making a movie or writing a paper.

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Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Planning and production: Some things to consider before starting.
    1. Theme: Find a topic you’re passionate about. The more knowledgeable about the subject or idea, you are more likely to have fun while making your podcast! If you are feeling confident, you can expand your topic to other ones!
    2. Episode length and format: Consider your audience with time length. Keep a consistent length for all episodes
    3. Script: It’s good to have an outline for your text. It is especially helpful if you are creating multiple segments.
    4. Scheduling: Most podcast run weekly or biweekly as the norm for episode releases.
  2. Equipment: What you need for your podcast
    1. Recording software: there are tons of software for your podcast needs. For beginners, an Audacity is an excellent software since it is compatible with most systems.
    2. USB Microphones: These are needed to make sure everyone is heard loud and clear.
    3. Mixer: Can control your voice and add effects as well as saving it onto a file.
    4. Headphones: To allow you and your guests to hear you more clearly, thus mixers are necessary if you are going to use them.
    5. Pop filter: able to suppress the popping sounds from the air.
  3. Recording and editing: Getting started with post-production.
    1. Recording: It’ll be okay if you are having problems, even the professionals get issues from time to time. After your episode is done, the recorded file is finished.
    2. Post-Production: make sure while you are editing, everything sounds the same. If you are using any sound effects, make sure you can hear the speakers.
    3. Uploading to a host site: Must save a file online and in another location. WordPress is a great starter site for beginners of podcasting.
    4. Indexing: A podcast is an XML file which can be indexed. WordPress uses XML feeds for podcasting. IF you are using Apple iTunes, you must follow their specifications. Remember to upload it other streaming apps like Google Music, Stitcher and Soundcloud.
  4. Distribution: getting your ideas across on Apple and Google
    1. Social media: Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, are a great way to reach an audience while you post a link to that podcast.
    2. Website: Once it is uploaded there, it is a good idea to provide as much information about your show as you can.
    3. Repeat: After the first couple of episodes are uploaded, keep doing the same processes repeatedly.

Podcasting by the American Library Magazine

Why some librarians make their own podcasts:

Andromeda Yelton of Open Paron explains it’s for the connectivity and to talk about cool aspects of the library world.

Michael Schofield and Amanda L. Goodman of LibUX say what to delve into library education and it is cost effective.

Joseph Janes of  Information School of the University of Washington, produces Documents That Changed the World, explores documents and how anything can be a historical record.

Podcasts for librarians:

They are great for those who don’t have as much free time as most people. There are top quality podcasts for any veteran or aspiring librarians:

  1. Adventures in YA: discusses young adult literature.
  2. Better Library Leaders: explores ways to advance your career as a librarian.
  3. Beyond the Stacks: discusses unexpected career choices for librarians and technicians.
  4. Book Club for Masochists: Librarians discuss a book that they hate in a monthly theme.
  5. Book Riot: Weekly talk show about trends of literature.

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Some thought-provoking ones:

  1. Cyberpunk Librarian: Created and hosted by Daniel Messer, explores trends, ideas relevant to new technology for library use.
  2. T is for Training: An laid-back series about how to train new librarians.
  3. LibUX: discusses design and user experience found in libraries.
  4. Open paren: a podcast about libraries, librarians, coding and programming.
  5. Adventures in Library Instruction: a Monthly show about information literacy, and teaching in libraries.

Podcasts by the Library of Congress:

  1. From the Catbird Seat Poetry from the library of Congress: archived recording of readings of various poems.
  2. La Biblioteca: an exploration of poems from the Iberian Peninsula.
  3. National Book Festival: Interviews with award-winning authors.
  4. Q&A with the LCM: interviews with newsmakers, opinionators, curators and experts in their field.
  5. A Celebration of Mexico: a conference of speakers from Mexico.

Lab 7 Q&A

  1. Which library podcast did you listen to? Circulating Ideas.
  2. Why did you choose this podcast? I am interested in how libraries can evolve into great study spaces for everyone.
  3. What was the focus of the podcast and who was it geared towards? (What was it about library instruction, library policies, popular books, etc…? Was it geared towards school library staff, academic library staff, public library staff or library patrons?) It is focused on library policy, how to deal with fake news(quality, accuracy and authoritative information), library values, building trust across institutions especially libraries to reach out to patrons, education on how to access information and creating space for discourse and teens. It is geared towards library staff because this information is necessary for a functioning library. Some issues librarians have to deal with is what they do, what they have and integrate disciplines.
  4. Did you enjoy this podcast? Why or why not? I enjoyed it a lot. It was informative and helped recognize some of the challenges libraries face in society and how they can overcome it.

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