This is podcast / talk Andy did for the London Branch of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals last year to talk about how we did a Library Podcast. The microphone has changed but not too much else from how it's done and the preferred software used. So any budding podcasters out there ... have fun...
I’ve had a Yeti Blue microphone for ages, and I got the kids to buy me a microphone stand for my birthday last year, because I was going to podcast… and never did
Then came lockdown and as I was working from home I had time to play around with the software and my GLL managers were looking for us to try anything to promote our digital output in whatever way possible, so I decided to promote Bromley Libraries digital resources via the podcast and they gave me a free hand... what could possibly go wrong?
Bromley, like most public libraries, have lots of digital resources but not such a big take up amongst our readership. Now that has significantly changed. So I have been promoting much of the following
NewsBank, Press Reader, RB Digital and The Times Digital as magazine and newspaper online resources.
Overdrive with the Libby App for eBooks and audio books, with RB Digital and ULibrary as other audiobook suppliers.
More specialist information comes via Oxford Reference Collection, Who’s Who and such things as Universal Skills to help with Universal Credit and Theory Test Pro if your studying for your theory driving test for all vehicles.
Freegal is our online music option
I include snippets from my colleagues who do Baby Bounce, Storytime, Poetry on Sunday, crafting and talks on our library Facebook site. I have also been known to promote CILIP’s The National Shelf service...
I work from a script and have done so from the start. I try and pick a theme and use those resources both to highlight them and enhance the theme, it doesn’t always work but it’s easier to work towards something specific - Star Wars – May the Fourth Day and VE Day were good examples and was easy to research and script….I’m a great fan of the link... no matter how tenuous...
Once the script is put together, I then download it on to a voice activated prompt reader. I’ve tried and tested a few and finally came down Prompt Smart on my iPhone. You really need one machine to work the recording and another separate one to read the script. I originally used a paper script, but paper rustle gets picked up by the mike and floor is littered with paper after a recording....
My recording and editing software is Audicity. It’s free and easy to use. I’m only recording around 20 minutes of material cutting it down to between 10 & 13 minutes, so I don’t require anything too specialist. I record my dulcet tones in one straight session as I find the recording sound sounds more constant. When I get it wrong, I repeat, usually with a marker like a raspberry or a rude word – for editing purposes obviously, before I repeat what is hopefully a less error ridden sentence or phrase. I live in a quiet area of Orpington so I’ve not had to do a lot of sound insulation... I just have to wait until they’ve stopped strimming the garden.
I then edit the voice track. My daughter Nell, who is a professional YouTuber gave me a great editing tip. Work from the end of your recording. Usually the last take of the sentence or phrase is the best and then you work back to the next phrase or sentence that is the best, cutting out all the swear words, raspberries and duff bits out in between. I do cut in individual words and occasionally re-record – the editing software allows that and with practice it doesn’t sound too clunky clunky
I top and tale the recording with intro and outro music from the aptly named Epidemic Sound copyright free service which I pay a tenner monthly subscription for, but it is well worth the service, plus I love the sound effects!!!
Once I’m happy with end-product I save it as an MP3 and then upload it to my Podcast host BuzzSprout – mainly because I lover sprouts… No really I do. BuzzSprout is free for up to 2 hours of podcasting a month, but I subscribe for about a tenner a month and you get a few more things via your stats and website.
BuzzSprout is an easy editing podcast site to upload to and you edit the front end the public end of your website for your podcasts at the same time. Your listeners can go straight to the site to see all your podcasts or you can highlight a link to the most recent podcast. It gives you the facility to download a snippet of your podcast of up to a minute which you can post on to Facebook or your website to advertise the latest podcast – Because of this I now do a quick intro of what the podcast is about on the podcast of just under a minute and I copy it using the BuzzSprouts editing tool and hey presto instant advert. The other advantage of the BuzzSprout website is I paste in all the links to what I’ve been talking about and people can just link direct to them. I have started to put the script up there as well for people who like to read my great and witty writings, autographs by appointment.
BuzzSprout helps you link to Apple, Spotify, Podcast Addict, Deezer podcast feeds and provides great Stats
I’ve had over 250 downloads since I started in April. Podcasts are not being listened to as much during lockdown apparently, but I’m happy with those listening figures.
Library Podcasting is something I’m looking to continue and develop post Covid 19 and I’m happy to chat to anyone who’s interested in podcasting or in fact does their own library podcasts.
There are Library Podcasts out there but mainly in the States. I think we need to get a UK movement going – if an old bloke like me can do it – anyone can!! Thanks for listening...