Podcasts on a Budget


Connecting with patrons - and non-patrons - electronically is fast becoming a must for libraries. One great way to do this is by posting a series of podcasts. The sky's the limit for content. Feature your library's services or programs and use the podcasts to promote them. Or host a StoryTime type podcast and have fun reading bedtime stories. Busy parents might just thank you when they need a night off once in a while. You could just read stories for fun, too!

You can invite local "celebrities" to share their stories, or partner with local businesses or organizations to be featured - NOT as advertisements! - with a chance to tell their stories to the community.

There are literally endless possibilities. At HPL we are doing a 10-post series called The Raven's Next Chronicles that is featuring local people reading their original short stories or poems or performing music they have written. We are partnering with local schools and the college as well as inviting the general public to submit their work for this project.

It's not as difficult as you might think. All you need are: an iPhone or Android phone, a free app called Voice Recorder Pro, a YouTube Account, Movie Maker (Windows) or Garage Band (Apple), a name for your podcast and a logo or graphic to brand your series with.

It's all kinds of fun to do! And with a little bit of practice, you'll be podcasting like a pro!

Below is a link to a sample podcast. (The actual series is still being produced.)
Source Library

Length of program session

30-60 minutes

Number of sessions





Toni McKilligan

Primary Audience


Community partners

We partnered with local schools, the local college and invited the general public to participate.

Funding (grants/foundations/corporations)

A bit of staff time! Or some intrepid volunteers who love technology and are willing to donate a bit of their time.

Budget for this program

Mostly FREE! You probably have - or have access to - everything you need. Just download the free apps and away you go.

Resources required (materials/supplies; food/refreshments, etc.)

Guests! These are important. Try to find interesting people to talk to who will share their stories willingly and be a bit entertaining.
A computer, of course! Along with the appropriate software. Microsoft Movie Maker or Garage Band are easy programs to learn and use.
An iPhone or Android device with Voice Recorder Pro installed. (It's free.)
A You-tube account.
A pretty logo or graphic to brand your podcast.

Feedback from Participants

Coming soon.

Highlights - what worked well?

So far everything is running smoothly. Staff are growing more confident with the software and are having fun with the guests. It's all still in-progress.

What were the goals/objectives of your program?

To engage the public! We wanted to give our local citizenship something entertaining to associate with the library. As well, we wanted to give talented local people of all ages an opportunity to have their work shared.

What would you change about this program?

I'd love to have better equipment. But it really isn't necessary to spend big bucks. With a little innovation and creativity, it was just a matter of applying a bit of time to learning a few new skills.