Monday, July 27, 2009

Thing 21: Podcasts

Podcasts help open library doors.

User-generated podcasts are being used to bring teens into public libraries, as is being done in the Boulder ( Colo.) Public Library and the Cheshire (Conn.) Public Library. Teens review books ,art and music at those libraries.

Public library podcasts also include local politics, such as the mayoral candidate debates done at the Kankakee (Ill.)) Public Library. I like that. It makes the library seem like a community center, and the ability to play archived podcasts means that patrons can hear community debates whenever they choose. Kankakee also includes podcasts on teen poetry slams and regular updates on technology as it is used in the library.

Johns Hopkins University uses podcasts to inform patrons about how to get the most of their library experience. Podcasts included federated searching, information on what can be found in specific databases and how to work with subject specialist librarians.

The quality of podcasts does vary, so it is worthwhile to make sure the volume and sound quality is appropriate before posting.

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