Welcome to the second thing in 12 Things SWKLS 2019  This month we’re going to be learning about podcasts. Podcasts are basically digital audio files that can be downloaded and listening to on a smartphone, tablet, or computer. The word podcast comes from the words iPod (a personal music player manufactured by Apple) and broadcast. In most cases, podcasts are part of a series with new episodes being released daily, weekly, monthly, or whenever the podcaster makes new episodes available. These can be subscribed to so you can an alert when a new one is available. Some of them need to be listened to in order (like Serial), but a lot of them can be listened to out of order and you can pick and choose which ones you want to listen to. People listen to podcasts when they’re traveling, cleaning, working, working out, etc.

The activities for this lesson are due March 31, 2019 at 11:59 pm central time and are worth 2 credit hours.  Estimated work time:  1-2 hours.

If you would rather complete an alternate topic, please go to the alternate topic page and pick one from the list.  You are also welcome to choose past topics or topics from the first round of Things.

If you get stuck and need help, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Exercises:  (Due March 31, 2019 at 11:59 pm CDT)

Tools you will need:

  • A computer with a browser.
    • A tablet or other internet enabled device will also work for most of these activities.
  • A valid personal email address (optional)
    • Depending on which app or program you’re using to subscribe to podcasts, you may need to sign up for an account with an email address.
    • Since more than likely you will be subscribing to personal podcasts on a personal device, we recommend using a personal email address.
    • If you’re doing most of these activities on a work device then you can use your work email address.
  • An Internet connection.

Activity 1: (10-15 min)

  1. Read The Beginner’s Guide to Podcasts from Wired.
  2. Read How to Get Started Listening to Podcasts from How-To Geek.

Activity 2: (10-15 min)

  1. Just like reading, your favorite podcasts are going to depend on your personal tastes. Some of the ones below may interest you and some may not. There’s a lot out there, so try not to get too overwhelmed.
  2. If you’d like to find podcasts for specific interests you can always do an online search for something like “best library related podcasts” or “best parenting podcasts”.
  3. Podcasts may also be something you don’t like at all. They’re not for everyone, and that’s ok.
  4. Here are a few to check out.
    1. Library and Book Related:
      1. Dewey Decibel Podcast from American Libraries Magazine.
      2. ComicPop Library podcast from our very own Richard Brookman where he and his crew review comic books, graphic novels, etc.
      3. All Booked Up a library podcast from Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. They talk about books, movies, pop culture, and oftentimes are pretty funny.
      4. The Librarian is In from New York Public Library. This podcast focuses on books, culture, and what to read next.
      5. Adventures in YA . Librarians who talk about YA books.
      6. Book Riot a variety of podcasts about different types of books and book topics.
      7. More can be found on 18 Excellent Podcasts for Librarians
    2. Personal Growth Podcasts:
      1. Rise by Rachel Hollis
      2. Tony Robbins Podcast
    3. Just for fun/entertainment:
      1. Serial true crime mystery podcast. Fairly addictive, so be careful!
      2. The Rewatchables a podcast about movies you should rewatch and why.
      3. The Habitat a podcast about a group of six volunteers who are inhabiting a Mars-like environment in Hawaii.

Activity 3: (15-60 min)

  1. Subscribe to at least one podcast and listen to at least one podcast. Directions and options are below.
  2. For beginners or those without devices: You can just pull up the podcasts up above on a computer by going to each podcast’s website. Listening directly to them on their websites is fine, but you can also subscribe to them which will alert you when a new podcast is posted. Subscribing is optional.
  3. If you’re more of an advanced user, but new to podcasts follow the directions below.
  4. If you’re new to Podcasts and have a smartphone or tablet available, use your phone or tablet’s built-in podcast manager to find and subscribe to at least one podcast that interests you. Then listen to one. This will help you decide if this is something you can want to do regularly. If you end up being a regular Podcast listener, I would recommend upgrading to Pocket Casts ($4), Spotify (Free), or Overcast (Apple only. Free or premium for $10).
    1. For Android devices use Play Music. You can find this under Google Play or as an app on it’s own called Play Music. You’ll see a podcasts button under menu. (Note: if you get a popup asking if you want to subscribe to a streaming music subscription, click on No Thanks)
    2. Inside of the Podcasts section in Play Music you can search for and subscribe to Podcasts. Play Music seems to have a limited amount of podcasts available, so if you’re trying to find one and can’t it’s probably them and not you.
      1. Note: Google also has a service called Google Podcasts which is a bit better than Play Music. You can add this through Android’s Play Store.
    3. For Apple devices (iPads and iPhones), use Apple’s built-in app called Podcast.
      1. To subscribe to a podcast, tap Subscribe on the page for that podcast.
      2. To play a podcast, tap on any episode.
      3. To download an episode, tap the iCloud icon in the episode list.
      4. You can manage your subscriptions and play podcast episodes in My Podcasts.
  5. If you’ve listened to podcasts before, try an app such as
    Pocket Casts ($4), Spotify (Free), or Overcast (Apple only. Free or premium for $10).
    1. Subscribe to a new podcast.
    2. Listen to a podcast
    3. Manage your podcasts inside of the app.
    4. A lot of these apps, also have in-browser options so you can listen and manage your podcasts on your device as well as on your computer.

Activity 4: (5-10 min)

  1. Post a comment below answering the following:
    1. What you learned.
    2. What you like or maybe don’t like about podcasts.
    3. Do you see yourself listening to podcasts in the future?
    4. Have a favorite podcast(s)? Share it below!
    5. Reply to at least one other person’s comment below.
    6. Register for 12/2 Thing 2.

43 thoughts on “12/2 Things SWKLS 2019: Thing 2

  • March 7, 2019 at 4:21 pm

    1. I have been wondering about podcasts, so I learned how to listen to them. I looked around at a few.
    2. I like that there is such a wide variety. However, I’m not really an auditory person. I’d rather see it. I prefer to be able to read the information so I can scan quickly through the parts I’m not really interested in & just spend time on the parts I want to find out about. I have been getting a Book Riot newsletter which I like so I tried the Book Riot podcast All the Books which they always talk about. I just can’t do it. I can’t listen that long & through all the banter to get the information I want.
    3. I may listen to some podcasts but I’ll probably be pretty selective.
    4. I did like Mo Rocca’s podcast, Mobituaries. I’d heard about it on CBS Sunday Morning, and I like his segments on that show, so I tried it & found it interesting.

    • March 11, 2019 at 12:57 pm

      I also am not an auditory person. I rather read the information rather than hear it. I can listen to an audiobook better than listen to a podcast , Im not sure what the difference is maybe because an audiobook is one person reading, and in podcasts its a variety of people talking.

      • March 14, 2019 at 4:27 pm

        I am totally with you, Karina!!! I like my audiobooks but I’m not so sold on podcasts.

    • March 14, 2019 at 9:28 am

      I think I’ll try Mobituaries – it sounds intriguing.

    • March 26, 2019 at 11:32 am

      I agree with everyone! I have listened to a couple of podcasts in the past and it has to be a topic that I am extremely interested in order to want to finish it. One of them was kind of upbeat and political but, it was comedy so you know how those go. I would rather listen to a go audio as well!

    • November 22, 2019 at 3:15 pm

      I will have to try Mobituaries. We just got the book at the library and I was thinking about checking it out! Maybe I should try listening first!

  • March 11, 2019 at 11:45 am

    I’ve listened to podcasts before but not on a regular basis. I think they’re a great resource for people on the go who don’t have time to sit and read.

    • March 13, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      I do most of my podcast listening in the car or while doing laundry. I find I can’t focus on podcasts or audiobooks while doing anything more involved.

  • March 11, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    1. What you learned- its cool to see so many librarians from all over the world trying this out and sharing their ideas and everything library world with others.
    2. What you like or maybe don’t like about podcasts. I’ve never been a fan of podcasts. I have done a few recordings for something I was involved in and I didn’t enjoy doing it one bit. While listening to podcasts I feel like I am obligated to just sit there, and just listen or cant do something else. It doesn’t intrigue me and I usually just tune it out or forget that I am listening.
    3. Do you see yourself listening to podcasts in the future? No!
    4. Have a favorite podcast(s)? Share it below!- I don’t have a favorite podcast !

    • March 12, 2019 at 3:15 pm

      Karina, I’ve decided to try listening to podcasts on my next long car trip when I’m by myself. Maybe that’s the answer for those of us who don’t like to sit & listen! I’ll be trapped anyway, and I get tired of the radio.

      • March 30, 2019 at 10:09 am

        I may have to try the long road trip podcast. I travel 12-14 hours when going to visit family and I get tired of the radio, as well. My husband and I “oopsed” when we got our car and thought cd players were standard. They are not and so we didn’t get one. We were only left with the radio. He would probably like the podcasts, too.

    • March 18, 2019 at 2:28 pm

      I think it’s neat to see even “our” Richard has podcasts he’s a part of! Podcasts are definitely the thing to listen to during no-brainer tasks! Long car trips just got interesting!

  • March 13, 2019 at 11:25 am

    The thing that I learned is that you can get podcasts on android devices.
    It is kind of like a commercial free radio, but sometimes its annoying because its not as formal as a radio program.
    It depends on what the shows i found post
    My favorite so far are RZIM :Just thinking and RZIM Let my People Think

  • March 13, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    1. I learned that there is a podcast for everyone!
    2. What I like most about podcasts is that I just started listening about 6 months ago. That means I have TONS of entertainment awaiting me! I especially like to binge and now that’s I’ve figured out the settings on my player, I can listen in chronological order.
    3. I have been listening to podcasts quite a bit recently. I started out with library/book-related topics, but found that I’m not interested if I haven’t read the book they are discussing. I have since discovered celebrity podcasts, and given my love of celebrity memoirs, they are right up my alley. Currently, I am listening to horror and folklore podcasts.
    4. My favorite podcasts are (in no particular order): LeVar Burton Reads, Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, Literary Disco, and Lore (my current obsession). The Librarian Is In is good. I also end up on Armchair Expert regularly, when I like the guest.

    • March 13, 2019 at 4:39 pm

      I will have to check out LeVer Burton Reads. I loved Reading Rainbow so much! I am subscribed to the Librarian Is In on my phone, but haven’t listened to it in awhile. I need to binge. I keep thinking I need to listen to Serial, but I know I will get addicted. lol.

      I also can only listen when when I am in the car, cleaning, or walking.

    • March 14, 2019 at 4:28 pm

      Stacey, I’m not at all sold on podcasts but I am willing to try out some. I think I will check out the ones you like 🙂

  • March 14, 2019 at 9:25 am

    1. I learned there many more podcasts available than when I first checked into them.
    2. I like the variety, but I can’t seem to find the time to listen…
    3. I do want to try to make time to listen, as I think there’s a lot of great ‘stuff’ out there to learn about!
    4. I really don’t have a favorite yet, but I have subscribed to an astronomy podcast, The 365 Day of Astronomy, to get ready for the summer reading program I’ve booked with the Cosmosphere.

    • March 22, 2019 at 12:39 pm

      I am defiantly going to have to check out The 365 Day of Astronomy, that is so cool. Thanks for sharing that. Something that would be great for teachers too.

    • March 28, 2019 at 5:18 pm

      I need to make time to listen also, Janelle. I remembered that someone suggested “The Moth” an NPR podcast. It features people telling extraordinary true life stories. I listen to NPR on the radio, and love all of their segments, so I knew I would like it. I will try to set aside time at home to listen.

    • March 29, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      I like the format of the Podcast I selected because it is more of a Q and A and runs in hour long segments allowing you start and stop and switch around to different dates.
      Topics vary. The user guidelines were easy to follow and helped me set it up on both my phone and tablet. I will probably not be using my phone or laptop for the Podcast, but mainly the tablet.

    • March 30, 2019 at 10:02 am

      Oh, I love Astronomy! I was glad to see this year’s library program theme and will definately have to check out a podcast for this.

  • March 14, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    I learned there are a lot of podcasts and that podcasts are basically “talk radio” . I don’t care for “talk radio” so I am having some trouble with listening to them. I found one call “Good Christian Fun” …. not too impressed 🙁
    I really don’t think I would listen to them…I would rather listen to a book when I am traveling. I don’t listen to them at home as I get sidetracked and miss things!
    I might try out some of the ones that Stacey likes!! Obviously I don’t have a favorite and may never ….. lol!!! But I am going to try out a few more before I pass my final judgement!!!

    • March 18, 2019 at 11:22 am

      I agree about getting sidetracked, I can’t even listen to audio books, my attention span is just to short. My mind tends to wonder so I have to repeatedly go back to listen to what I missed.

      • March 20, 2019 at 11:05 am

        I agree concentrating on a podcast is a hard task for me also. Finding the quiet time to just listen is another issue for me but maybe I will make a true effort to listen to a podcast.

        • March 26, 2019 at 4:34 pm

          I can’t just sit and listen , I tend to get up and walk out of the room. When I’m out walking I need music to keep me on track. Just talking slows me down.
          But this was a very interesting lesson, and I really did try several out, just not my thing,

  • March 18, 2019 at 10:02 am

    Podcasts are not something that I have really listened to before. I enjoyed listening to the ones from All Booked Up. I’m not a big “talk radio” fan. I am a visual learning and like reading information rather than just listening to it. I have a Spotify account for listening to music. Thank you for opening up some of these ideas to me.

    • March 29, 2019 at 5:20 pm

      I am the same way! I would much rather pick up a book, I feel like I retain information better by being able to see it and not just listen to it!

  • March 18, 2019 at 11:15 am

    1. I learned that podcasts are very easy to access, I have an android and plan to use Play Music to listen to podcasts.
    2. I like that podcasts are available anytime, anywhere.
    3. Not many but i have found so I like and plan to listen to regularly.
    4. Don’t have a favorite.

  • March 18, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    1. Didn’t realize they were free to access on about any device. I noticed my phone had a Play Music app (have actually tried to delete it before as I never used it), and never thought to explore it.
    2. Once I find a podcast channel that is my style I’m sure I would like it, although I can’t say I’d chose it over music or an actual storyline/audio book. I like that you can download them and listen to them anytime. It does have to be a mindless task if you’re wanting to multitask while listening to a podcast!
    3. I’ve actually listened to podcasts before without realizing they were that!
    4. Something I’ve kinda continued into adulthood is listening to Adventures in Odyssey. They have like a week’s worth of past podcasts available on their website if you’ve missed their nightly radio broadcast. Good clean kid-friendly story lines.

  • March 20, 2019 at 11:01 am

    I used to listen to podcasts years ago and have gotten away from it so it was nice to revisit again and see what is now available. The thing I like most about it is how easy it is to join a podcast on your i-phone. When I first started I had to download them onto a MP3 player and Janelle always had to help. It wasn’t an easy task. Time seems to be the problem on listening to podcasts. “Flylady” was my favorite podcast years ago. Her podcast was all about getting organized with your home and work. It is no longer broadcasted. One of the podcast that I have enjoyed listening to is “What Should I Read Next?”

    • March 28, 2019 at 1:08 pm

      I agree with finding time for them, I mainly struggle to find time to pick a podcast I want to listen to!

  • March 22, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    I learned of several more library related podcast to check out. I listened to part of the YA one and a couple others that were suggested.
    What I like about podcast is there is one for everyone. I listen to inspirational ones, self help, diet, and library ones. I listen in the morning while I get ready for work.
    Yes, I defiantly see myself listening to podcast in the future.
    I don’t really have a favorite. I tend to listen to self-improvement or inspirational ones the most.

  • March 26, 2019 at 11:44 am

    I learned that podcasts can be extremely boring or way over the top interesting. You really have to search for one that fits you. I listened to one that was about the disappearance of a high school girl. It was long and very detailed but, if I was to watch a serial killer documentary on Netflix I would love it! Big difference. I may listen again in the future if I come across a podcast that just fits me. I have listened to an old neighbors podcast out of Fort Collins, CO. It’s called Easily UnAmused and it is definitely a comedy! Also, I noticed you have to watch the language that is used in A LOT of these and the crime podcasts as well!

  • March 26, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    1. I learned that you can find some very interesting podcasts. I’m not crazy about them, I do like my audio books as I’m driving, but the podcasts are just different.
    2. Didn’t really care for them, maybe it’s just the voice. I tend to get up and leave the room and I won’t listen to them at work.
    3. I doubt I’ll listen to them in the future unless I find a very interesting one.
    4. My favorite one was Tony Robbins, but it got kinds of old after a while. The rewatchables was good and gave me some great ideas for movies to watch.
    It was a good lesson to try and not everyone likes the same thing and that is ok.

  • March 28, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    1. I didn’t know there were so many different podcasts and different apps available to play them.
    2. I like that I can play them from my phone.
    3. I am hoping to spend more time and find some I really enjoy on maternity leave!
    4. I currently don’t have a favorite.

  • March 29, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    I learned there are probably as many Podcast as there are reasons or interests to locate a Podcast. I liked selecting a Podcast that was of interest to me. I am on a 1 month trial, but I may continue it as it is inexpensive and I can cancel at anytime. Opening the Podcast on my phone or tablet is more convenient and faster than starting up my laptop. I subscribed to a Podcast that is only available to Sirius subscribers, so now I can listen when it is convenient to me, 24/7. I probably won’t listen to any others as this had specific interest for me.

  • March 29, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    1. I did not realize so many were free and that there seems to be a podcast on just about every subject!
    2. I like the idea that they are what some people would probably consider more easily accessible as opposed to a book, but I have a hard time just listening! (I’d rather have the book) 🙂
    3. Which leads to answer no, I do not plan on continuing to listen to them any time soon!

    • March 29, 2019 at 5:41 pm

      Like you, I am a book girl. Not sure if I will ever get into podcasts but I should be able to find one that interests me if I find I do enjoy them.

  • March 29, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    1. Pretty much everything I read was something new to me. I had heard the word podcast but beyond that I didn’t really know what a podcast was.
    2. I like that there are podcasts for so many different interests. If I decide I enjoy listening to podcasts, the thing I dislike is that it is one more thing that would tether me to my phone.
    3. Possibly, I want to do a little more looking and I have downloaded a storytelling family podcast that I am going to try with my kids on a car trip this weekend so we’ll see what they think.
    4. No favorites yet but it looks like their are many Christian podcasts so I am going to explore some of those.

    • March 29, 2019 at 6:49 pm


      You’ll have to report back on how the storytelling podcast goes. That sounds interesting.

  • March 30, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Before this session I honestly couldn’t have said what a podcast is. I had heard references to podcasts, but that is as much as I knew. Now, I understand more about them and their use.

    I chose to listen to a podcast from the ZSL Institute of Zoology. It was a short overview of their upcoming events and I actually did enjoy it. Being able to connect internationally is interesting to me. I guess the one thing I don’t like is that podcasts are another technology source that requires a log in, if you wish to subscribe. And, I also am one who prefers to see what I am hearing. I would have loved to see the “cuddly shark” they were talking about! It did seem most of the ones I looked into use cookies. I’m not completely sure about the use of cookis, yet. But, I feel pretty confident of this podcast sight.

    I might actually continue using podcasts on a limited basis, just because of my interest in the international connection. But, they would have to be information focused and not be a lot of banter or personal opinion.

    I guess right now my favorite podcast sight would be the ZSL Institute of Zoology, beings it is the only one I have listened to.

  • November 22, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    1. I learned that Podcasts aren’t as intimidating as I thought they were. Listening to one in the car would be another option on a long trip when the radio isn’t as reliable for interesting music/shows and I forgot an audiobook.
    2. Most of the podcasts I found were really long. I must have some ADD because I prefer tv shows that are 30 minutes long, which is funny because I can read for hours.
    I liked learning new information in a different format, but I would prefer them to be shorter.
    3. I might listen to a podcast every now and then, it will probably depend my time constraint and the topic really interesting me.
    4. I enjoyed the Rewatchables, the Upside Down podcast, and My Favorite Murder. I’m sure I’ll find more if I keep digging.


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