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Podcasts and Podcasting

As information professionals, we spend a lot of time managing printed words. Spoken words deserve some attention, too. This week’s edition of Technology Tuesday explores podcasting as an alternative way to convey information.

A podcast is a digital audio or video file that is available on the Web. You can listen to podcasts from any computer with speakers. When you are away from your computer, iPods and other portable listening devices make it convenient to listen to podcasts during your commute, at the gym, or wherever you are when you want to keep your mind occupied.

Here are a few of the many free podcasts of interest to health professionals:

The New England Journal of Medicine –  weekly article summaries and interviews
Johns Hopkins Medicine – lively discussions about late-breaking medical and public health news
The Nursing Show – for nurses, by nurses
CDC – podcasts on a variety of topics related to disease management and health policy

To find more podcasts, try searching a podcast directory such as Odeo or Podcast Pickle.

Most serial podcasts are available as RSS feeds.  Once you are a subscriber, new episodes will be listed in your feed reader and can be transferred to your digital media player or portable device.

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with podcasts, consider how you (yes, you!) might create a podcast of your very own. Here are examples of how libraries are using podcasts:

Creating a podcast is easier than you might think. To prove it, NN/LM is offering a new hands-on class, Can You Hear Me Now? How to Make a Podcast. This class was developed by KK Jiang at the NN/LM South Central Region. It is approved for 2 or 3 hours of Medical Library Association (MLA) Continuing Education Credit.

If you are interested in hosting a class for 10 or more network members in your area, or if you would be interested in taking this class if it were offered in a computer lab near you, please contact Alison Aldrich at .

4 Responses to “Podcasts and Podcasting”

  1. Alison Aldrich Says:

    P.S. Lately, I’ve enjoyed listening to the Uncontrolled Vocabulary podcast on my way to work. Uncontrolled Vocabulary is “a weekly live interactive roundtable discussion of all things library.”

    I hope some of you will leave comments about your favorite podcasts. Your comments might not appear on the blog right away, especially if you include links, but don’t let that discourage you. I am still working to fine-tune the spam filter.

  2. Beshia Popescu Says:

    Hi Alison,

    Thank you for your article on podcasts. I would be interested in learning how to make podcasts, preferrably in webinar format, or e-learning.

  3. Alison Aldrich Says:

    Thanks, Beshia. We are working on an online version of the class.

  4. Hope Leman Says:

    Hi, everyone. I have been asked on several occasions to burn podcasts to a CD—always from the quite professionally done series of the Society of Critical Care Medicine:

    and in order to snag that link above, I had to visit their site and while there noticed that they also have a page of Vodcasts:

    And while we are the subject of multimedia, David Rothman wrote about this very significant event a few weeks ago:

    So much for all of us to learn.