Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Listen Up: Let’s Talk About Kids Podcasts

Have you been discovering and listening to kids podcasts more and more this past year? If so, you are not alone! Kids podcasts experienced record-level listening in 2020 and librarians across the country are helping families discover this content. So, if you love listening to kids podcasts, we invite you to come to the table to discuss all aspects of this rising form and its impact on media mentorship and services to children.  

Kidcasts in 2020: A Milestone Year

Kidcasts, also known as podcasts for kids, have grown to where 1 in 4 kids, ages 6 to 17 now listen to podcasts (Ipsos) and weekly Kids & Family podcast listening increased by 24% in 2020 (Podtrac). As podcast listenership rises, librarians have taken note of content that’s available, especially what is free and accessible. For example, ALSC’s Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media 2020 Committee selected Imagine Neighborhood, a podcast based on the social-emotional learning curriculum Second Step, for their award; ALSC’s #LooktoLibraries initiative highlighted coronavirus kidcast episodes in the list; and, School Library Journal  included kidcasts as part of their Collaborative Summer Reading Programs, 2019 and 2020, and they publish an ongoing series featuring Kidcast playlists.

Media Mentorship: Kidcasts Bring an Opportunity for Librarians 

As podcasts become a bigger part of the professional landscape, the form readily connects to the mentorship librarians are doing during their media advisory work. Media mentorship continues expanding the advisory role, but as each unique form becomes increasingly valued, there is an opportunity for librarians to think deeply about how best to help kids and families discover, access, and engage with kidcasts. By joining together to talk about the rise of kidcasts, we can not only better understand their needs, but the needs of librarians and the impact of kidcasts on children’s services, including, technology, collections, advisory, programming, evaluation and review. 

Listening Together 

If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then consider joining us at a virtual table to discuss this valuable content for kids and families:

  • Do you often find yourself discussing podcasts with other librarians?  
  • Do you love listening to podcasts, but haven’t yet discovered kidcasts?
  • When you listen to a kidcast episode, do you find yourself thinking about kids you want to recommend the episode to? 
  • Are you thinking about ways to integrate podcasts into reading programs, websites, iPads, etc?
  • Do you have a podcast?
  • Do you currently evaluate other children’s material and want to dive into kidcasts?

We are interested in hearing from you! Fill out this Google Form.

Anne Bensfield works with schools and libraries to help them integrate digital resources that fit their communities’ needs. She is committed to listening widely to amplify kids’ voices and curating kidscasts, also know as podcasts for kids, with the help of other kidcasters and librarians that offer diverse perspectives. Anne enjoys co-writing articles for School Library Journal with Pam Rogers on kidcasts.

Pamela Rogers reads, writes, and recommends literary nonsense to kids on a podcast she calls Buttons & Figs. She is passionate about inspiring kids to express themselves through wordplay and amplifying their creativity for her show. She is a librarian who actively promotes kidcasts within the world of libraries and is a member of Kids Listen, a collaborative of kidcasters who promote high-quality audio for kids. She believes audio, in all of its forms, has the power to move mountains.

Anne stays attuned to the library world and Pam stays attuned to the podcast world. Together they make a dynamic duo by listening to and fro! Visit Listen To & Fro to find great podcast episodes for kids. Additional resources include ALSC’s Podcast Playground Webinars number 1: Discovery, and number 2: Programming and a Childrens & Libraries article on podcast programming and advisory.

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