12 Podcasts for Librarians

Check out these eight podcasts by librarians, along with four others of interest to the field

Lost in the Stacks: The Research Library Rock’n’Roll Radio Show On air since 2014
Lost in the Stacks is one of the longest running library-related podcasts on this list. Recording in the studios of Georgia Tech’s WREK-FM, the hosts choose a topic, then use it to create a mix of music, interviews, and library talk.
 
Bellwether Friends
Readers’ advisory that goes beyond books. Hosts Anna, Alene, Carolyn, and Julie have varied interests that are reflected in the show’s topics. Be sure to check out episode 83: “Classical Music Advisory with Robin Bradford,” any of their “Book Buzz” episodes, and the episode where I talk about pens for 90 minutes.
 
The Librarian Is In This
New York Public Library podcast is about books, culture, and the world of libraries. Every episode stands alone, but together the archive forms a compendium of curiosities that include such topics as technology, trans characters in novels, fat-positive children’s books, and hippo ranching, to name a few. Gwen Glazer and Frank Collerius have an easy camaraderie and start to feel like old friends after a few listens.
 
The Worst Bestsellers
The Worst Bestsellers is a podcast where the hosts talk about best sellers of questionable quality. Librarians are cautioned not to express their opinions on titles to our patrons, so this podcast is both refreshing and cathartic. Hosts Kait and Renata hold nothing back as they discuss pop culture advice books, juggernaut vampire series, and numerous romance novels from well-known authors. Be sure to check out their discussion of John Gray’s Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus from a queer perspective.
 
Archivist’s Alley
Archivist’s Alley describes itself as “a safe conversational space designed for casual and lively discussions about how to preserve our work and identities in the professional landscapes and media that we work and create in.” Though the podcast is only five episodes in as of press time, conversations are meaningful, thoughtful, and cover such subjects as digital preservation, social justice and equity, women in archiving, digital forensics, and personal media archives.
 
Turbitt & Duck: Purveyors of Cultural Expertise and Library Sass to the Discerning Connoisseur Since 1885
Despite the title, Sally Turbitt and Amy Walduck have only been producing this podcast since late 2017. Librarians from Australia, Sally and Amy broadcast about libraries, galleries, archives, and museums worldwide. Notable episodes include episode two, in which the hosts discuss why they created the podcast, and episode five, which covers the hosts’ favorite and not-so-favorite books of 2017.
 
Library Bytegeist
Library Bytegeist features audio stories from the libraries, archives, and museums of New York City, hosted by Molly Schwartz of the Metropolitan New York Library Council.
 
Time To Read
Time To Read is a podcast book club produced by the Winnipeg Public Library, Manitoba, Canada. Listeners can participate in the book club at their leisure and discuss the selected novels whenever it is convenient. Episodes are released the first Friday of every month. Recent reads feature Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad and Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake. Upcoming titles include Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park.
 

NONLIBRARY-SPECIFIC AND WORTHWHILE

The Broad Experience
The Broad Experience is a conversation about women, the workplace, and success. Host Ashley Milne-Tyte takes great care to include women of various ages from a variety of backgrounds who speak to the theme of each show. Notable recent episodes include “Putting Yourself First”; “Your Weight, Your Worth”; and “Your Work, Your Private Life.”
 
Cultura Conscious
Cultura Conscious host Paula Santos is a self-avowed podcast addict who enjoys everything about art and culture. The podcast features Santos’s conversations with artists, museum workers, and other cultural leaders about how the work they do in their communities intersects and is informed by considerations of race and inequity in society. Cultura Conscious is relatively new on the podcast scene, so it’s easy to choose a topic you’re interested in and start there.
 
Call Your Girlfriend
Call Your Girlfriend is “a podcast for long-distance besties everywhere” and is hosted by real-life besties Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman. Each week the pair phone each other and record their conversations about pop culture and politics. The hosts advocate the practice of Shine Theory, a belief that women should befriend and learn from the success of other women they’re inclined to envy. CYG has more than 120 episodes that cover a number of topics, but “Best of CYG 2017” is a good place to start.
 
Another Round
This podcast by Buzzfeed is a podcast hosted by Tracy Clayton and Heben Nigatu (and occasional guest hosts). The podcast focuses on topics ranging from politics, race, and gender to pop culture, squirrels, and Clayton’s bad jokes. In late 2017, Buzzfeed announced that it would stop producing Another Round, but Clayton and Nigatu took ownership of the podcast and promise to return. Notable episodes include “Madam Secretary, What’s Good” (with Hillary Clinton), “Two Dollars and a Paperclip” (with Ava DuVernay), and “Was That a Microaggression or Just Tuesday?” (with NPR’s Audie Cornish).
 

Cecily Walker is Assistant Manager for Community Digital Initiatives, Vancouver Public Library, BC

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