Chapter 5. Opportunities for Libraries and How to Learn More

Chapter 5. Opportunities for Libraries and How to Learn More

Libraries Recommending Podcasts

There seems to be plenty of information on producing podcasts (for libraries),1 and many libraries have interesting and creative podcasts that they produce for their audiences or for other librarians.2 For a few samples, see the section of this report “Podcasts by Librarians.”

But another role that libraries can play is curator of podcasts, recommending the best ones as information sources to their communities. There are a number of ways this can be done, and these tips could apply to school, public, academic, corporate, or any kind of library.

  1. Create guides to recommended podcasts on our websites. Just as we make guides to recommend all types of resources, we can also recommend podcasts. We can make guides about podcasts, focusing on the specific subject needs of our audiences. Here’s an example by Christine Beardsley of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Library: We could also integrate podcasts into existing guides on specific topics. Here are a few examples:
  2. Make printable handouts about podcasts on specific topics. Offer PDF versions for downloading from your website and newsletters.
  3. Recommend podcast listening apps. Add information to your guides and handouts about how to subscribe to podcasts and recommended apps for convenient listening. See the section of this report “Recommended Tools for Podcast Listening.”
  4. Put podcast listening apps on mobile devices that you loan out.
  5. Start a podcast discussion club. Make it like a book club, but for podcasts. Here’s an example that could spark some ideas: Podcast Brunch Club,
  6. Feature on your website lists of podcasts created by people in your community—people of all ages and backgrounds.


I hope this report will inspire you to find ways to include podcasts in your recommendations to your library users! I would love to hear from you about how you’re using this information, or for questions and comments. Contact me at

Additional Resources

A. Podcast Criticism and Reviews

In addition to the sites mentioned through this report, you may also enjoy these sites for reviews of podcasts.

The Timbre

If you like to read reviews of podcasts, start with The Timbre. It’s no longer publishing new stories, sadly, but has plenty of relevant content from previous stories.

Cultured Vultures

Cultured Vultures is another good site for podcast reviews. This link will show you search results for stories about podcasts.

AV Club

This site also reviews podcasts on a regular basis.

B. Statistics

These sources are likely to publish new studies in the future. They are a good way to keep up with the latest statistics.

The Podcast Consumer 2016

This report from Edison Research is full of interesting data about podcasts and their listeners.

Podcasting: Fact Sheet, Pew Research, June 15, 2016

Pew Research is a good source for statistics and is always publishing new survey results.

C. The Podcasting Industry

Hot Pod

A newsletter about podcasts. To keep up with industry news, sign up for this e-mail newsletter by Nick Quah. Past issues are available here:

D. Reviews of New Podcast Listening Apps

To keep up with new podcast listening apps, try these sources.

The Sweet Setup

This site offers in-depth reviews of apps, and it usually chooses one top recommended app. For example, “Our Favorite Podcast Client for iOS: Overcast,” September 8, 2016,

App Advice

App Advice is my favorite site for iOS app reviews. Here’s a sample: “Find Your Favorites and Discover New Podcasts from Anywhere,”

Android Central

This is a good site for reviews of Android apps. For example, see “The Best Podcast Apps for Android,” April 6, 2016,

Mobile Apps News

To stay current with the best apps for educational use, sign up for my free newsletter, Mobile Apps News. It covers the best apps of all kinds for use in educational settings, offers links to real-world examples of creative use, and links to thought-provoking articles about emerging technologies.

Alphabetical List of Podcasts in This Report

Aaron’s World

ACLU Podcasts on Mass Incarceration


Another Round

AppleVis Podcast

The Autism Show

Beyond the Stacks

The BiCast—Podcast for the Bisexual Community

The Big Listen

The Bindercast

The Bipolar Family

The Blind Hour Podcast

Blind Living Radio

The Blind Sport Podcast

Bloomer Boomer

Book Club for Kids

Brains On!

Call Your Girlfriend

Changing the Face of Power

Changing the World for Deaf People

Chirp Radio Podcasts

Circulating Ideas

Code Switch

Coffee Break Spanish Step by Step

College Info Geek

Cool Blind Tech

Cyberpunk Librarian

Dear Book Nerd

Digital Accessibility Made Simple

Disability Matters


The Documentary

Documents That Changed the World

Don’t Act Your Age

The Dyslexia Quest

Ear Snacks

Earning Freedom—Michael Santos

Economic Rockstar

Elder Justice Podcast Series

EOS 10

Explain Things to Me

500 Words

Freakonomics Radio

Getting In: A Podcast about the College Admissions Process


Good Job, Brain!



The Guilty Feminist

Higher Ed

Higher Ed Live

The History Chicks

In Black America

In Pod We Trust

International Realness


Kid Friday: You’re a Kid in a Digital World

Kids on Comics

Latino Rebels

Latino USA

Law School Toolbox Podcast

Lesbian Lounge




Loud Mute Radio

The Mash-up Americans

Math Mutation

The Naked Scientists

National Native News

Native America Calling

Native Opinion

Native Trailblazers


The New Middle


Note to Self

On Being

On the Media

One from the Vaults—Transgender History Podcast

Open Paren

Ouch: Disability Talk

Our National Conversation About Conversations About Race

Outsports—A Voice for LGBT Athletes

Oxford Children’s Rights Network Podcasts

The Pod Couple

The Podcast Digest

The Podcast History of Our World

Podcast Kid

Podcast Playlist—CBC


Poverty Research & Policy Podcast

Queer State of Mind

Radio Ambulante

Radio Diaries Podcast

Radio Diaries—Prison Diaries

Radio Rookies


The Read

Red Town Radio

Re:Learning Podcast

Revisionist History


Sandi Klein’s Conversations with Creative Women

Science Friday

Seminars about Long-Term Thinking



She Does—Conversations with Creative Minds

Short & Curly

The Short Coat Podcast: Broadcasts from the Amazing and Intense World of Medical School

The Show about Science

Slate’s Double X Gabfest

Snap Judgment

Sooo Many White Guys

Sound and Fury: The Angry Asian Podcast

StarTalk Radio

States of Incarceration

Still Buffering

Stories from the Brainreels


Story Pirates


Strange Fruit

The Student Caring Podcast for Professors

Studio 360

Stuff Mom Never Told You

Stuff to Blow Your Mind

Stuff You Should Know

TalkPoverty Radio

TED Radio Hour

This American Life

This I Believe

Throwing Shade

Tiny Desk Concerts

The Torch: The Great Courses Podcast


Trends & Issues in Instructional Design, Educational Technology, & Learning Sciences


UNICEF Podcasts


Unprisoned: Stories from the System

Voice of Literacy

We Want the Airwaves

Welcome to Night Vale

What It Takes

What Just Happened?

Women of the Hour—Lena Dunham

World of Wonder

Alphabetical Lists of Tools and Apps

For your convenience, here is an alphabetical list of all the podcast discovery tools and apps mentioned in this report.

Podcast Discovery (Directories, Newsletters, Search Tools)

Adolescence is a Marketing Tool newsletter

Audible Feast newsletter

The Audit newsletter

AV Club

Bello Weekly—Bello Collective newsletter

Between Two Earbuds newsletter

Earbud newsletter


Hodgepodge newsletter

Hotpod newsletter

iTunes Charts

Listen to This, The Guardian

Pod-a-Day newsletter

Podcast Chart


Podcasts Reddit group


PodLikeThat (from

PodRec—Facebook bot

Product Hunt

Quora Topic—Podcasts

7 on 7 Podcast Reviews newsletter

Tech Times—Podmaster

The Telegraph (UK)—Podcasts

Timbre—Podcast Playlists

Podcast Listening Apps






Google Play Music


Otto Radio


Player FM

Pocket Casts

Podcast Republic

Podcasts (Apple)





Stitcher Radio

TuneIn Radio


  1. See the Library Success wiki page on podcasting, with a section at the bottom of the page on how to podcast (for libraries): “Podcasting,” Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki, last updated August 13, 2012,
  2. Ibid. This site includes a long list of podcasts produced by public, academic, and school libraries.


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