Archive for October, 2009

LibeCasts from the upstate empire

Gute abends!

Can I talk for just a minute about how much I love CamelCase type (as per the title of this entry, or, dare I say it, case in point)? Being somebody who works with neither NaCl, nor EnvVars, nor even iPods, I am not exactly predisposed to loving it. Frankly, I didn’t have any idea that it was called CamelCase until I looked it up just now. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s overused, and I’m sure graphic designers would be sick to death of it were it not such an elegant panacea. I still think it’s the bees’ knees.

Oh oh oh and incidentally! Every time I hear the word “panacea,” as well as “innate” or “carapace,” I’m reminded of the fact that I learned all three from the same videogame, and happened to run into them simultaneously in one vocab quiz in tenth grade. A life well wasted, indeed.

With all of that out of the way, let’s get started, mm?

Having pretty well tackled three rather different examples of public library podcasts in my earlier posts, I’m going to move on to academic libraries for now. For starters, let’s look at everyone’s favorite fake Ivy: Cornell University!

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Everything is (still) better in Silicon Valley

Hello (again) again!

I’m going to do my best not to get carried away this time. For those of you who are just joining me, I spent my last entry talking about Denver Public, after announcing at the start that I was going to share some thoughts on the Sunnyville Public Library podcasts which I never got around to. Thus, without any further ado:

The title of this entry may be meant as a joke, but Sunnyvale’s Bay Area credentials remain immediately evident on noticing that the podcast digest URL is “librarypodcasts.org.” While it’s not as though bookmarking a longer address is especially difficult, it still stands to reason that these guys were probably very near the first to begin delivering content like this. Equally telling is the absence of any design credit at the bottom of the page beyond “© 2006 City of Sunnyvale, California.” This layout seems to have been built in-house, the merits of which are debatable (see again my last entry), though the implication that the creative force actually knows what they are doing is invaluable.

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Everything’s better in Silicon Valley

Hello again!

Today, I’ve got two more public libraries to discuss –both of which, I’m happy to say, trump Manchester by degrees. First, I’ll be talking about the Denver Public Library, whose podcast is targeted directly at the children’s department. After that, I’ll share what I think must be a well-kept secret: the podcast of the Sunnyvale Public Library. With a URL as iconic as librarypodcasts.org, the safest town in California led me to expect great things and did not disappoint, serving up content from visiting authors which rivals that of the excellent nearby FORA.tv series. But more on that later.

The Denver Public Library podcasts (subtitle: “Stories For Kids!”) are presented in a nice, readable blog digest format, with a very manageable seven tags and three external links, along with a full-text search, in the right column. The entries themselves are exclusively book readings, occasionally by the original author, along with a cover thumbnail, a cute little tagline, and copyright information. Production values are high, and because the speaker is either a children’s author or a children’s librarian, they’re very pleasant to listen to.

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Some civil servants are just like my loved ones

“Don’t worry about the government.” (Talking Heads ’77)

To inaugurate this blog, I thought I’d get started by talking about some public library podcasting initiatives. No sooner had I opened up the “Podcasts” page of Librarysuccess.org than I noticed that the Manchester, CT public library, ten minutes from my childhood home, had (to my admitted surprise) joined the 21st century with a teen services podcast. I clicked onward.

Now, a word or two about Manchester seems appropriate here. It’s a relatively sprawling suburb, home to one of the larger shopping centers in eastern Connecticut at one end, and a beautifully-preserved quaint New England main street facade at another. Perhaps because it’s been so selectively developed, it’s also one of relatively few Connecticut towns that have been able to avoid outright white flight without turning into a commuters’ slum. Everyone who lives near Manchester drives through part of the town at least daily, yet nobody seems to know quite how to get from the mall to the Salvation Army without getting on the highway. The locals, meanwhile, have a notably less-developed vocabulary of Ivy League schools than most of their neighbors, but seem to enjoy quite pleasant lives all the same.

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Hello world!

Do you like podcasts?

I do.

I sure didn’t think I would! I don’t like iPods or a whole lot of talk radio, so my chances weren’t the greatest.

Once upon a time, though, it came to pass that I wanted something other than music to fill my daily commute – trying to juggle my netbook on the bus in order to read some previously-opened New Yorker articles notwithstanding as a solution.

It occurs to me, of course, that this is yet another way of me trying to make my day even more hyper-efficient. Inasmuch as I’d rather get the news through a healthy filter of sarcasm in time that I’d previously spent listening to music and daydreaming —

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