After completing Thing 21
You will know more about podcasting, have viewed some fun library content on YouTube and considered the value of the audio-visual medium to librarians.
What is a podcast?
A podcast is a pre-recorded audio or video broadcast that has been published on the web which can be subscribed to and downloaded via RSS. Podcasts can take the form of interviews, discussions, comedy routines or one-person commentaries. Some are very professional, others less so. As everyone is making them these days they cover all genres and subject areas. If you have a long commute, regularly go to the gym or want something to listen to in your free time then you might want to think about downloading some podcasts.
The Common Craft Show's Plain English video clearly explains in 3 short minutes what podcasting is all about and is far more interesting than the additional paragraphs of text I could have written:
How do I listen to a podcast?
By downloading them to your iPod or MP3 player, or by listening to/viewing them directly on your PC. If you already use Apple's iTunes software go to the Podcasts section of the iTunes Music Store. Alternatively you might want to use a service like Odeo which allows you to play podcasts from their web pages without downloading.
Where else can I find podcasts?
The BBC, The Guardian and The Times all provide popular podcasts. You might also want to try searching some podcast directories, such as Podcast Alley, Podcast Ferret or Get a Podcast.
Many libraries are now using podcasts to give their users audio tours of their libraries, regular radio show-style updates about new services and developments or as a way of reaching students who missed workshops or lectures. Library associations are also podcasting on the future of libraries and new technologies. Check out the following:
- British Library podcasts
- University of Abderdeen podcasts
- Skills@University of Leeds podcasts
- JISC Libraries of the Future podcasts
- CILIP Communities podcasts
- Goldsmiths library tour podcasts
A useful, if US-centric, list of podcasting libraries is available on this Podcasting wiki
Although not regarded as podcasting proper (even though podcasts can refer to video as well as audio, and you can subscribe to contributors) it felt wrong not to tie YouTube into this Thing, for a bit of light relief if nothing else. I'm sure I don't need to explain what it is, so instead I'm just going to point you to some of the best library-related videos out there at the moment - all of them funny and worth a look. There's a good chance you will have seen at lot of these before but hopefully some of them are new to you...
My Top 3:
1. Romance of the Living Book
2. Study like a scholar, scholar
3. A Plagiarism Adventure
Tour the Library
Librarian Lays Down the Law
Librarians Do Gaga
The L Team
Social Science Library Tour
The Librarian (music video)
Blogs, Twitter and Library newspages
If I've missed some that you like, why not add them as a comment to this post?
Back on a more serious note, if you've not discovered them yet, a quick shout out for the fascinating range of video lectures on the TED website.
To complete Thing 21
Blog about what you thought of the library podcasts you listened to/viewed. Might you start subscribing to podcasts or consider podcasting yourself? Or alternatively have you got an idea for a library video to go on YouTube? What do you think about using the audio-visual medium to reach library users?
Optional extra: Creating your own podcast
One of the best known pieces of free software for recording and editing podcasts is Audacity. Audacity allows you to create some technically impressive audio recordings and you don't need anything more than an in-built PC/laptop microphone. However, if you really get into this podcasting lark you probably want to invest in some equipment. Why not give it a go and if you like the end results register it on iTunes or another podcasting service?
Podcasting in Academic Libraries
I crowdsourced some of this material via Twitter. Thanks to everyone who contributed.
We'll be wooking at wikis...