Public Librarianship Podcasts to Feed Your Brain

Career Blog

Published: October 11, 2016 by Kate M. Spaulding

Podcasts can be wonderful companions while taking a walk, doing chores, or commuting to work. Here are four favorites.

In the last year or so, my podcast listening has really taken off. I have found them to be wonderful companions on walks, while I do brainless tasks like laundry, or in the car when the radio lets me down. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the term, a podcast is a digital audio file available to download or stream. They are typically presented in a series format through a mobile app, and users can subscribe to a podcast to automatically get new episodes. They vary in length, and if you have an interest, there’s a podcast about it.

I use the podcast app that came on my iPhone, but there are many others out there to choose from for both Android and iOS devices. My listening list includes podcasts that cover news, entertainment, food, finance, business, and, of course, librarianship. Librarians are generally great communicators and innovators, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to learn they have embraced this new(ish) medium.

I obviously can’t list all LIS podcasts here, but to whet your audio appetite, here are four of my favorites that focus on all things public librarianship:

  • Circulating Ideas: Steve Thomas, a public librarian in Georgia, interviews All The Interesting Library People. No, really. From the 2016 ALA presidential candidates to Meredith Farkas to Jessamyn West to Cory Doctorow. Not too lengthy, but interesting and well done interviews. I always learn something new. Recent conversations have spanned a broad array of topics, including design, user experience, the Library Freedom Project, the nuts and bolts of podcasting, and the ALA Conference in Orlando. 
  • FYI: The Public Libraries Podcast: New episodes generally come out once a month from the Public Library Association. Obviously, it focuses on public library issues and has covered a wide range of topics, including weeding, human trafficking, and this summer’s conference.
  • American Libraries Dewey Decibel Podcast: To be honest, I haven’t listened to all of these because the topics weren’t my cup of tea. BUT. Because the American Library Association (ALA) produces it, I keep it in my feed since ALA is important in the public libraries world and they do talk about relevant, timely issues. Their coverage of the recent annual conference in Orlando was super interesting to me since I didn’t attend, and I also enjoyed the Banned Books Week episode. 
  • LibUX: This is a new one for me, and I subscribed because I heard the hosts, Amanda L. Goodman and Michael Schofield, on the aforementioned Circulating Ideas. User experience is a hot topic in libraries, and adding this podcast to my feed seemed like an easy way to add to my (skimpy) knowledge.

Of course, these podcasts are also on social media, so you can follow them there as well for new episode notifications and interesting tidbits. Do you have more podcast suggestions? I’d love to hear them! Please share your favorites in the comments below.

And if you’re curious about working in public libraries, join the Career Development team for a career-focused webcast with iSchool alumna Rosanne Macek to learn about the challenges and rewards of a career in public librarianship. On Wednesday, October 12 at 5:30pm PDT, join me for The Good, the Bad and the Exciting: Public Librarianship Today. A recording will be available in the archives and via the iSchool podcast!

Podcast icon courtesy Daniel Filho under Creative Commons