When I started the Circulating Ideas podcast four years ago, I wanted to provide a platform for librarians to share the great work that they’re doing to keep libraries vibrant in the 21st century. I’ve talked to more than 100 librarians and library supporters over the course of the show and generated more than 60 hours of fantastic content, but I’ve found that there are a lot of people that podcasts just don’t reach for a variety of reasons: accessibility issues, different learning styles, or just personal preference, so that’s why I want to do transcripts.
However, accurate transcription is a time-consuming and skilled task, not to mention expensive, so that’s where you can help by supporting my new Kickstarter campaign. There are some pretty cool rewards like stickers, exclusive content, the chance to control the show’s content for an episode and best of all, an DRM-free ebook edition of the transcripts called Recirculated.
Stretch goals include video episodes, additional content added to the ebook, a bank for future transcriptions, and much more.
Even if you can’t donate financially, you can help by spreading the word about the campaign to your colleagues and friends.
Thanks, and let’s keep circulating the ideas!
This episode wraps up the string of episodes promised as part of the Kickstarter campaign back in the Spring. One of the stretch goals was an opportunity to ask me (Steve, the regular host of the show) questions, and regular contributor Leah White conducted that interview at the ALA Annual Conference this summer (we neglected to get a photo together, sorry!).
Young Librarian Series | “Intersection” (Steve’s essay)
One of the stretch goals of my Kickstarter was an interview with the eponymous Annoyed Librarian, but what makes that tricky is the anonymity that the AL uses as a shield. Since s/he wouldn’t agree to a Skype call, we did an email interview and with her/his approval, I had AnnMarie and Tony Saunders, my sister and brother-in-law (both actors), perform a dramatic reenactment for the show.
Hope you enjoy this very different episode.
When I was five years old, fireflies were my friends. In the small South Carolina town of Sumter, I would walk outside as the day wound down into dusk, put my hand in the air and delight as the fireflies would land on my fingers. I would cup my hand over them, peeking between my fingers to watch them walk around and light up their temporary home between my palms. I named them all Sunny.
One day, one of my Sunny friends landed on my hand but this one looked a little different than the others. His backside was yellow but there was no light on it and he was rounder and fuzzier than I remembered. He also didn’t seem to appreciate his new home much, which I discovered when he stung me.
The final Sunny was a bee.
I can still remember how utterly betrayed I felt, that one of my beloved friends had hurt me. He wouldn’t be the last, of course, but he was the first. For awhile, I didn’t try to catch fireflies anymore, but I did eventually drift back, though I never named another.
Now, that was not an awesome experience. As much as I can still feel the pain that last Sunny caused (both physical and emotional), I can also recall the joy all the other Sunnies brought me, but I didn’t have the life experience to understand that one bad experience should not spoil countless good ones.
The thing about being an adult is that now I do understand and in a professional sense, that is what I try to do with the podcast I created, Circulating Ideas: show off the good experiences we create in libraries, which far outnumber the things not going our way. The profession is filled with innovative people, and I want the show to be a platform for them to show off how awesome they are. When I promote the show, I’m also promoting those guests who have been on and will be on, paying it forward.
I have done a lot of promotion for the show in the past, from writing guest posts for other blogs to appearing on other podcasts to posting updates to multiple social media accounts (some that I update more the others), but the biggest piece of self-promotion I’ve done, which is somewhat unique in the world of libraries, is my Kickstarter campaign, which ends on May 17.
Kickstarter allows creative projects to gather pledges to fund themselves, providing rewards to backers, with the safety net being that if a project is not fully-funded, no one pays out. Before embarking on this self-promotional journey, I studied successful Kickstarter projects and other projects related to podcasts and libraries (there were not a lot!), to see what the expectations were on setting rewards and how projects were presented. I listened to the New Disruptors podcast, which talks to people who use nontraditional ways of raising capital for their projects, and read more articles on Kickstarter than I care to count. I put together what I thought was a reasonable package to help me expand and enhance the show and went live. Within 48 hours, the project had been fully funded and the pledges continue to trickle in. So far, I have passed my first stretch goal – which are additional goals set, after initial funding is achieved – and hope to pass at least the second goal before the project ends. As much as the Kickstarter project will help me make the show bigger and better, it has also brought a lot of attention and I’ve hopefully picked up more listeners along the way, which will bring them to the attention of all the great people featured on the show.
We sometimes feel stung from the attacks on libraries but we need to remember that the future is bright for libraries if we can embrace the best of our profession and push forward into more sunny days. My hope is that I’m able to be a part of that, and I hope you will be, too.
Want to know more about the 30 Days of Awesome project? Check out these posts by Kelly, Liz, and Sophie.
Two years ago when I started doing Circulating Ideas, I had only my five year old iMac, GarageBand, and Skype, with my site set up on Google’s free Blogger platform. The earliest monetary investment I made was securing the domain name registration. You can hear the poor audio quality in those first few episodes until I upgraded to a Blue Snowball mic and added Audacity to my mix of sound tools. I continue to work on the same iMac (with a hard drive upgrade) and still use GarageBand as my primary editing tool. When I attended the Public Library Association conference in the Spring of 2012, I was able to use some equipment loaned from my place of work, like a portable digital recorder and a laptop, because I had been sent by them to cover the conference; this was nice because otherwise I had no options for recording on the go (I didn’t even have a smartphone at that point).
Now I can continue along like this for the foreseeable future and keep interviewing more great, innovative librarians but in order for the show to grow and flourish, I need to upgrade not only my mobile options but also my home office equipment. I do the show on my own time, outside of work, so all current costs and any prospective upgrades come out of my own pocket.
However, that’s where you can come in to help.
I’ve started a Kickstarter campaign to support the show and I would appreciate any help you can provide. If you don’t have money to give, just passing along this information about the campaign would be a great help. I’ve started off with some modest goals for improvements and have plans for stretch goals beyond the initial funding request to provide bigger and better services with more advanced equipment and software with additional fun rewards to go along with it.
Thanks for helping to circulate the ideas.