Sunday, November 20, 2005

Library Podcast - Lansing Public Library

When you walk on the street, you "bump" into someone. What's the equivalent of that when you're online? Perhaps we <insert sound of your IM software alerting you that you're being messaged> into each other online...


So I was online when Kelli "bumped" me via IM. "Long time no chat", I said. She asked how I've been. Then she blew me away when she informs me that her library is offering podcasts. Here's the info page she put up.

I told her how I liked the way they provided answers for techies and non-techies. Suggested that they also include a description of some content for the podcasts (that might encourage people new to podcasting to try their podcast feeds).

She said last week, their library did a science project workshop for parents and kids (e.g. how to choose a topic, how to do research, highlights of the library's electronic resources, inter-library loan capabilities etc.)

She also begun recording her hands-on computer classes. This was for people who attended the class to review the lesson, or for those who were thinking of signing up for the class to get a sneak audio preview, or maybe for those who had already signed up for a later session but can't wait to hear what's the lesson going to be.

I asked which other library has done podcasts and she says Thomas Ford Memorial Library where is getting their teen customers to record book and movie reviews (Kelli says go read about Thomas Ford's plans for more podcasts; there's a presentation on podcasting on 8 Dec that even I could "attend").

The possibilities are endless for library podcasts. Kudos to those libraries who have put possibilities into practice.

I asked Kelli if her library has considered having librarians do podcasts (like booktalking & discussions). She said their teen librarian is interested in that but generally speaking, she thinks staff might be apprehensive about having their voices recorded on the internet for people to hear. I agree (perhaps staff should blog first, then podcast).

I wished Kelli luck on their podcasting effort. I've not subscribed to podcasts in any big way, but I'll be listening closely to what Lansing is doing. To librarians reading this -- if your library is offering podcasts, I'd be interested to find out more from you (feel free to email me).

Will NLB public libraries be offering podcasts?

This much I can share here -- we're exploring the possibility of offering it, but there's no definite timeline as yet. There are some possible partners and people I'm talking to right now. If you're in Singapore and you're interested in helping the library explore podcasting possibilities as a volunteer, I'd love to hear from you.



  1. Anonymous8:15 am

    Hi Ivan,

    A natural use for podcasting might be an audio tour of some of the fabulous exhibits in your new National Library - or even an podcast tour of the library itself, including some of the thoughts that went into its design. It's a remarkable building.

    Check out Art Mobs (you'll have to look it up since I am not being allowed to leave a URL) where students are creating "alternative" audio commentary for the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

    All the best to my Singapore friends,


  2. Thanks Doug. This the URL you were referring to, I think - (server seems to be down when I checked).

    Oh, I figured out what you mean by "not allowed to leave a URL". You can, just that you have to code it in HTML ("A HREF...") in blogger.

  3. Found a listing of podcasts via Podcast Alley using the search term 'library'. Only one podcast is by libraries, Dowling College Library. However, there's a podcast by a librarian, Open Stack.

    Have read that libraries in the US have weekly podcasts of storytelling sessions. Maybe we can start of with that and introduce other kinds of podcasts as we go along, or even video podcasts.

  4. i dun realli subscribe to podcasts much though I do listen to the occasional one from Mr Brown and Mr Miyagi. I think I heard one from Xiaxue before. Interesting if done well, weird if otherwise. I like to see the NLB try one! One reason I like blogs a lot better is going from one link to another, and reading comments from other readers. Kinda more interactive than podcasts if you ask me. But I suppose they are a different medium for a different need. How about the NLB doing one introducing the Top 10 Most Borrowed Books of the Week? I presumed The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell will be one. I have been trying to borrow that book from the library for weeks....hahaa... btw, this is my new blog, my old one died on me...=)..

  5. Thanks for the links - good to investigate!


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