Post #7 – Podcasting in Academic Libraries

OK kids, here it is, a preview of my presentation.

What is a podcast?

A podcast is an emerging technology, used for the dissemination of sound files such as MP3s, as a media tool, generally distributed by an RSS or Atom feed, and as a vehicle for personal broadcasting.

When did they start?

According to Wikipedia, in late 2004, podcasting started to take off, as a tally of hits on Google for “podcasting” increased exponentially daily at that time. Academic libraries were among the first institutions to see podcasting’s usefulness.

What is their purpose?

In the world of academic libraries, podcasting is used as a tool for library instruction, as well as to distribute promotional and educational material. In addition to its library information, the Hackelmeier Memorial Library at Marian College in Indianapolis uses its website to post podcasts of movie reviews.

Why are they becoming so popular in the Academic Library world?

Podcasts are becoming popular teaching tools for a number of reasons, but one primary one is that they are convenient and efficient ways of delivering information. A podcast can be broken into smaller, more digestible pieces, as opposed to a live 60 minute instructional session in an academic library.

Who can access a podcast?

Generally, anyone with an internet connection can access podcasts of all sorts. At the Dowling College Library you can listen to an informative monthly podcast called The Omnibus, featuring library related content. You can listen to a podcast on an iPod, a laptop or a desktop computer, whichever device you have access to.

Who can contribute to the creation of a podcast?

Academic Librarians, faculty, students, whomever. Three key parts to a successful podcast include creating useful content, distributing the content, and aggregating & synchronizing to iPods locally (or in the case of academic libraries who do not possess iPod to loan, from their website).

How do I make a podcast?

There are lots of websites where you can find free podcasting software. Some of the more popular sites include, it’s free and easy to use. is also a free service for uploading MP3s, and you can even call in by phone to record and publish your podcast. My favorite program is Apple’s Garage Band software, which has great effects that you can use to make your voice sound more rich and full. Podcast

What’s next in podcasting at academic libraries?

At the A. C. Buehler Library at Elmhurst College, the librarians are in the process of teaching the professors how to use podcasting software so that they can deliver their lectures that way. Their website has many links that are helpful for someone who is interested in making their own podcast. ACRL’s e-Learning Series recently hosted a webcast about podcasting called “The Classroom Will Now be Podcasting: Podcasting in Higher Education and Implications for Academic Libraries” to further promote the usefulness of podcasting in the academic library setting.

The possibilities are endless, and podcasting in academic libraries will be an increasingly vital tool for providing access to information, to teaching and to the sharing of ideas and knowledge. 2005-2007. Coalescent Systems Inc. 17 July 2007.  <html://>

Goodwyn, Donna M. Personal interview. 17 July 2007.

Griffey, Jason. “You don’t have to be a media mogul to create audio and video for iPods.” Library Journal. 15 June 2007. 17 July 2007. <;

“History of Podcasting.” 2007. Wikipedia. 17 july 2007. <; 2007. A SonicMountain Company. 17 July 2007. <;

“Podcasts.” 2007. Dowling College Library. 17 July 2007. <;

“The Classroom Will Now be Podcasting: Podcasting in Higher Education and Implications for Academic Libraries.” 2007. American Library Association. 17 July 2007. <;

“To Blog or Not To Blog…To Podcast or Not to Podcast…That is a Question Answered by You and Your Teaching Style.” 2007. A. C. Buehler Library, Elmhurst college. 17 July 2007. <;


3 Responses

  1. The movie review podcast you posted on your blog entry was very well done…it had lots of personality to appeal to a college audience. I liked how they used music and humor in their presentation and how they made their topic relevant to the user in their introduction (finding a good movie for watching over the Thanksgiving holiday). A great way to market what the library has to offer. Thanks for sharing this info!

  2. Hey Bill,
    Sorry I haven’t visited in a while. Hope things are well. I enjoyed your post on podcasting. I’ve enjoyed listening to many podcasts and I’ve always wanted to learn how to make my own. I guess up until now, I haven’t had a real need to. It’s a great technology. Thanks for the informative post.

  3. Great presentation Bill, and you were very clever to be the first presenter. Thanks for all the podcasting info, it’s going to come in handy.

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