Category Archives: Podcasting @ TTW

Implications of Podcasting in Library Land


Implications of Podcasting in Library Land

In the first two days of CIL, I heard the term “podcasting” in a few sessions, including the “Dead Tech” session. I guess, then, that “podcasting” is sooooo hot right now. With that, I thinkl we need to put some thought into what might happen as libraries jump on the syndicated audio (and video bandwagon). I’m all for adding media to a library’s presence, but I also see the need to plan and ponder how the creation of audio content might impact our work:

Have a visiting author? Will guest speakers sign off on a “podcast clause” when visiting libraries? Or agree to be interviewed for a library’s feed? This is marketing for your library and publicity for the person involved so they will probably be tickled to do it. However, make sure that your “interviewer” is skilled in asking questions and has time to put together a brief intro and set of questions.

For a library to produce audio content monthly? weekly? there will need to be a serious investment in time and staff. It must be a priority! A podcast created by staff should probably be reviewed by the marketing point person to insure it meets the standards that SHOULD HAVE BEEN SET UP for all library promotional materials. This is not just the duty of IT staff.

What of podcasting conferences? It’s one thing to blog from your seat in the presentation room. It is certainly another to record conference content. here at CIL, Greg has been recording content and asking folks to record “promos” for his podcast, or “the show” as he calls it. To actually syndicate program content, however, there are legalities involved.

Key Factors for the Podcasting Libraries:

What will be your ROI? Loads of downloads, feedback from users, or some other method?

What equipment do you need — or already have? A PC, microphone, software, etc. where will the recording be done? Not in a busy workroom for sure!

Audio content should be created with the same guildelines as text-based content. Follow your style guide for how you might say your library’s name or similar.

How will you promote your cast? On the Web? Usual media outlets?

Who does it? What staff?

A tip: if you have a librarian that is into such things as music, recording music, audio, etc you may want to talk to them about being point person / project person for the podcasts. These skills carry over. Got a librarian who used to work in radio? Grab them for sure?

David Free on Podcasting for his Library

Here’s an e-mail comment I received from David Free a Reference Librarian
at Georgia Perimeter College – Decatur Campus in Decatur, GA. He said I could reproduce it here because I think it’s an excellent example of how libraries might syndicate useful audio content that markets services, etc.

Thansk David!

Greetings. Well, I’ve been experimenting with podcasting for the last month
or so. I’ve done 3 so far, mostly pretty basic versions of the library news I post
on our campus library blog: events, services, new books. I’m doing these about
every 2 weeks or so. They’re each about 12 mins long.

I’m looking at doing something fairly different with it though. My college
is a multicampus 2 year school, so what I’ve been doing is specific to my campus. But I’ve been talking with a colleague on another campus who is familiar with podasting about trying to do a library system-wide (4 campuses) monthly-ish radio show type podcast. We’re going to set up a seperate blog just for this podcastand do one as a test to see how it goes and look at the level of interest. We’re looking at this being a 30 minute or so show thing where we play Creative Commons licensed music between library related segments. These could be services, new database products, events/displays in various campus libraries, book reviews, interviews with authors/ librarians/ other campus folks or whatever. The idea for this came from a vague memory of reading about some libarians doing a show on a campus radio station.

Hopefully we can recruit other librarians to contribute audio segments or at
least written stuff that I could read. It may take some time to get going,
but it could be a really cool collaborative project to market the libraries.
There should be a demo version of this in the next couple of weeks, which
I’ll be glad to share.

Good stuff folks!

TTW on Podcasting

I’ve been looking for podcast bits out in the blogosphere as i shape these thoughts. I came across these in my travels:

At Blisspix:

“As I?ve commented to a couple of people and lists now, broadcasting/podcasting is fun, but it can be lonely and time-consuming to produce content. I found it quicker to produce live-to air in the studio, because I wasn?t going back and fixing mistakes, and all the equipment was set up (so I could play grabs, a record, a CD, a minidisc and conduct a phone interview all at the same time if I really wanted). At home, I didn?t have the luxury of a permanent set up, so if I wanted to add a song I would have to go back after recording and insert it. I suspect that?s the case for most podcasters who are generally using fairly basic setups. No doubt there will be new software available in the next couple of months to make recording podcasts easier.”

Jessamyn asked for comments about podcasting, and cited some interetsing reasons why it’s not the format for her. She also points to this, which I totally get:

I’ve written about unplugging and balance and think sometimes you have to say “Sorry…I didn’t get to read/download/listen/consume your content yet..” Sometimes I log on and there are suddenly 5 IMs for me! Recently, I turned an walked away from the Mac to unwind before addressing them. There is oonly so much time in a day – especially when two yellow fellows are eager to go outside!

“My multitasking does not extend to the audible realm.” Jessamyn West

“I don’t buy that the majority of listeners are actually syncing and listening on mobile devices, but either way, I think it’s nice that people are taking the next step from text to multimedia.”

But I digress: Ahhh… podcasting! Here’s my all time favorite: Karen Schneider presents her Top Technology Trends from LITA via podcast: It’s POETRY!

I have been pondering — in fact, Aaron and I have had some in depth discussions about the merits and drawbacks of the library/librarian podcast this last weekend when he drove over to Mishawaka for a day long session on our CIL workshop and other up and coming stuff.

“Several librarian bloggers are starting to experiment with podcasts as a way to disseminate information. Podcasts work very much like RSS feeds, but are audio files sent out to iPods. If you don’t use an iPod, you can still listen to the Podcasts as long as you have Windows Media Player installed on your computers.My question is: how can libraries use Podcasts to get information out to their patrons, particularly those teenagers who are the most likely to have an iPod? I would love to see your thoughts.”

Frankly I see the application of syndicated audio content as more useful to libraries than to invidual librarians who blog. There is a niche here: one or two practioners who produce regularly scheduled audio broadcasts concerning LIS such as Mr. Greg Schwartz at Open Stacks.

Greg has done some nice stuff, but I realized in reading Jessamyn’s posts that I agree with her. It’s not blogging…it’s broadcasting. Works for me. I just hope all my favorite bloggers don’t convert solely to audio content. I would rather see libraries make promotional and informational audio content available when the format suits the content. ? Technomust occurs when folks in libraries say “we must get technology X” because all the other libraries are getting it. Bad idea! How does that serve a library’s users? Want to share a weekly calendar of events — put it up and feed it out with RSS. Makes sense. Have an author visiting? Ask if he or she might record a brief interview to be podcasted for users at home. What’s the implications of fair use for someone to record HOT new music at the library and include brief song snippets — this seems ok too. ?

Back in the day I recorded a segment for our educational radio station here in South Bend called “What’s New at the Library.” Are podcasts of the same stuff in our future? This would be great to carry around some cool content to listen to on a walk or at the gym. ?

Usable Podcast Archives: Most of the talk I’ve seen about podcasting has focused on ways the audio can resemble blogging done in a lively new medium, sound. So we get the regular posts and the familiar RSS. But if we’re going to go to the trouble of making audio, at least some of the things we make might be created with an eye toward later use. With our blogs, at least somebody can run a keyword search and hope to locate a useful older piece, but with audio, there will be next to no useful searching capability if the posts resemble blogs.

But if some people use podcasting for other purposes that don’t resemble blogs quite so closely, then the pieces might have a longer life. For example, students in speech or English classes might contribute their own recordings of great poems, with annotations or bibliographies to accompany them and with special attention paid to the sounds of good poems. Then later courses could use these collections for their own study, as well as contributing new poems and accompanying materials. The work would live on.

I posted on TTW that for some of the librarian produced podcasts I felt something was missing: chapter stops, a TOC, a way to better “mentally index” the content. Maybe the technology will improve? ?How can I search it? But maybe I was thinking of them as blogging and not as a “radio” show.

My big concern is someone taking on the task of recording weekly content and finding it a whole bunch of work! Just like all those library blogs that start and then STOP, will we see a bunch of sites that promised weekly — daily?? podcasts dry up and blow away?

Here at TTW, I have recorded two podcasts as a test: ?

The first was very much a test. The second, I realized after it was done, was like a mini lecture on effective cmmunication channels in libraries for a class or workshop. Original content, a handout and a breakdown of my main points make up the whole.?I realized later it might be kind of silly to include a handout when someone might be walking or driving — sorry!

It was fun. I will return to it when the mood and the content strikes me. But BOY am I ready to see libraries jump on this wagon and cast out some content off of their websites — talk about PRESENCE!

“Doc Searls may have said it best: ?Podcasting will shift much of our time away from an old medium where we wait for what we might want to hear to a new medium where we choose what we want to hear, when we want to hear it, and how we want to give everybody else the option to listen to it as well.”

So, today, David King posted a videocast, thus giving us more content to ponder, aggregate and make time for. He makes some EXCELLENT points about what libraries might do with vide — the same goes for audio. here they are

Benefits of Media Content (Podcasts of Audio or Video) to libraries:

Keeps IT staff interested :-)
Perfect for augmenting a Teen-driven Web site
Professors can archive/aggregate course lectures
Oral histories
Online storytimes
Local storytellers telling a story
Internal training
External training
Promotion of library events: interviews, music, speakers

This is an incredible time: iPods in libraries, podcasts via RSS, and librarians communicationg via blogs to create, improve and devlop serveices. Rock ON!

Unintended Consequence of Podcasting

I am sitting here this rainy cold Sunday in Northern Indiana trying to record the TTW Podcast #2. Here’s my take on an unintended consequence: recording a podcast is also great prep for a presentation…. I have notes, some pages to refer to and my thoughts but it really helps to settle in and start talking — to present the topic and see how it plays out as you record. It helps put ideas in place.

You get to hear yourself immediately as well– eeek! Too many UMs and “wells” or weird sentences and I want to edit or rerecord.

Look for it soon….

The Podcast Media & OSS

I’ve been thinking about podcasts… dabbling a bit this week. One thing that is pretty darn cool is that some of this phenomenon/trend has roots in good old Open Source Software.

What is a podcast? Folks have been offering definitions. For example, PodcastAlley defines it, Webopedia does as well, and wikipedia has a great entry here:“A podcast is much like an audio magazine subscription: a subscriber receives regular audio programs delivered via the internet, and she or he can listen to them at her or his leisure.”

For example, downloading Audacity is a good first step. Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems, according to

Then grab iPodder too at iPodder, the site informs, “allows you to create your own custom online audio content from the thousands of audio sources on the web. It helps you select and download shows and music and to play whenever you want on your iPod, portable digital media player, or your computer. And it’s all done automatically after you specify which music or shows you want.”

iPodder’s site takes donations but the software comes with an OS license and is based in PYTHON! The donation banner says this:” Donations will be transacted by Sourceforge, which hosts open source projects. Any donation will automatically tip Sourceforge for their service.”

I’m still deciding folks…but I’m happy to see that the possibilities for libraries, librarians — “citizen broadcasters”, if you will — are grounded in Open Source.

Welcome to the TTW Test Podcast

I pondered this for two weeks..and decided to give my technology here at the house a whirl to see if I could produce a podcast.

My topics:

Call for speakers for Internet Librarian 2005

A look at the tools/skills of the “Up to Date” librarian and a plea to “sieze the day”

Please let me know what you think. I’m still deciding if I like the format and how it might work in the LISBlogosphere.. Greg and Karen really inspred me.

And it was made entirely on a MAC!