3-21-16 Update: The Talk is now up at T is for Training. Download the podcast of the talk here
This blog post is a summary of a session done at the Computers in Libraries Conference on March 10, 2016 by Maurice Coleman and Forrest Foster. This post was originally published here and is republished here with permission,
Forrest Foster, host of Let’s Talk Learning Spaces – he works at an academic library in North Carolina – and Maurice Coleman, host of T is for Training – he is technical trainer for Harford County Public Library.
Foster and Coleman did the session interviewing each other.
Questions asked of each other included:
Your show is about what? Forrest started his show as a way of gathering and sharing information on learning spaces/learning commons. Maurice started his show after CIL eight years ago. He wanted the conference experience all of the time. He wanted an ongoing conversation on training, teaching, learning, and administration.
Who is your audience? For Forrest, it is anyone who wants to listen. The show is marketed to academic librarians. For Maurice, his is for anyone Ina library who does training.
How do you connect with your audience? Maurice said that people hear about the show through conferences, social media and talking to people. Forrest asked people how we connect and said that’s what he does – email lists and social media. Maurice noted that his shows has its own Twitter feed.
What do they (people) get out of it? For T is for Training, Maurice encourages people to show up. People do answer questions for each other and share resources. He provides connections to people who don’t normally connect. For Forrest, the show provides some new information and also confirmation of their strategy.
How do you produce it? T is for Training is hosted on TalkShoe. People use phone of Skype to call in. Maurice doesn’t to a lot of “engineering” in the background. Let’s Talk Learning Spaces uses BlogTalk Radio. People can call into the show. Generally he interviews someone.
Is there a theme or topic?
For T is for Training, Paul Signorelli
frequently generates a topic, then the conversation goes on from there. Let’s Talk Learning Spaces developed the topics based on the need of his library’s learning space.
Is the show recorded or must you listen live?
Both! The conversation happens live, and you can also listen to the recording afterwards.
How do you market it? Email, Twitter, etc.
Forrest does his show at work. Maurice does his at work or at home, depending on his schedule. Maurice’s podcast is part of his professional development. Forrest’s show has a cost.
How did you get buy-in? Forrest didn’t at first. He didn’t to prove return on investment. Buy-in came with key people participating in it and the feedback he received. For Maurice, getting the then-current ALA president to call-in really helped with the buy-in.
Do you have outside funding? Forrest, no. Maurice said that people want to sponsor his show. His sponsors are people he wants to promote or give him in-kind contributions. He does not receive money from his sponsors.
The platform that Forrest uses has minimal costs. There is no microphone or studio, since everyone calls into the show.
What challenges do you have? For Forrest, ensuring the correct resources are available when needed. For Maurice, it is the crap-shot of who will or will not show up every other Friday for his show.
Personal impact? Forrest – learning. Learning about his staff and watching them grow. A way of being active professionally. Maurice – better speaker, presenter and trainer. He has learned to be a better person. He is better at his job. It has been his professional development and his “advanced degree.”
What do you wish you knew when you started? Maurice wished he knew that it was going to last this long. He wish he had lighter equipment (snowball mic), for when he takes the show on the road. Podcasts generally don’t last 8 years.
In conclusion, act locally, share globally.
Is it better to be structured or extemporaneous? It depends on your temperament and perhaps where you work. Consider your desired outcome.
Are either posting text transcripts or doing something for people who have hearing disabilities? Forrest has the ability to do it. Maurice doesn’t have the capability. Maurice notes that it would take time and time he doesn’t have.