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Media Mentorship & AI: Creating an ALSC Committee Podcast

Since joining the Children and Technology committee in 2020, we’ve furthered the committee’s charge of educating and encouraging youth librarians to be leaders on technology issues, and disseminating information on these issues to the larger ALSC community. As part of our committee requirements we expect all members to publish at least one ALSC blog post on a current subject relating to technology. In 2022 we hosted an ALSC Chat on post-pandemic hybrid library programming. We consistently update the ALSC Digital Media Resources guide with the most current topics and resources. And we have built in innovative practices to our meetings – including using the digital platform Padlet to record our monthly check-ins. For further reading, check out this blog post published by my former co-chair on other ways we use tech tools within our virtual committee. 

That said, with time left in the 2022-2023 term to complete a final project, we knew we wanted to create something technology-related that was both applicable to a wider ALSC audience, and that would ideally help us build on our own skill sets as technology leaders. After a few discussions, we decided to create a podcast about artificial intelligence (AI) and libraries. Specifically, the podcast would acknowledge library professionals’ continued and consistently evolving role as media mentors, and the question of how librarians can educate their communities and younger library patrons on the rise of artificial intelligence. 

In order to create this podcast, participating committee members each did a mini-dive into a topic of AI they thought was particularly interesting and relevant to the library profession. These topics included the basics of popular generative AI tools, how young people are using AI and the attempts being made to detect it, issues of bias in AI, how librarians are already incorporating AI in their everyday work, and more. Because we were facing a time crunch, and only meet “synchronously” as a committee for one hour a month, we decided to individually record each of our segments, upload them to our shared committee Drive, and then use the popular audio editing platform Soundtrap to edit our segments into a single audio file. Current co-chair Angelique Kopa listened to everyone’s audio, created a sensible flow, and recorded moderated questions that acted as interludes between our segments. 

Screenshot of the Soundtrap "Studio" for the AI in Libraries Podcast
Image: Screenshot of the Soundtrap “Studio” for the AI in Libraries podcast

On top of learning how to record and upload clear audio files, I offered an optional Soundtrap master class for the committee. Interested members joined a shared Soundtrap “Studio” and tuned in virtually to learn basic functions such as navigating the Soundtrap interface, adding audio tracks, exploring the program’s sound effects/loop library, adjusting the volume and sound quality of individual tracks, and splitting tracks to cut out unwanted audio portions. I then took on the bulk of the editing, with the result being the 45-minute podcast embedded below!

Creating this podcast was a great way to continue fulfilling our committee’s charge. Not only did we each learn about the evolving and important topic of AI, (information we can now easily share with ALSC members), but committee members also engaged with a digital tool (Soundtrap) to create an accessible product in the popular format of a podcast. Like we aim to do in all of our committee work, this is a transferable skill that can hopefully be brought into a variety of library environments and programs. One committee member said this about her involvement in the project:

I have never worked on a podcast before, even though it is something that other people in my organization have done. I enjoyed learning about all the different ways that we could record and splice together our episode, because it means that it doesn’t always have to be recorded live. This type of information has already come in handy, since not having a live performance can allow for other people to participate that may not be able to due to their schedule.

-2023 ALSC Children and Technology Member Katie Talhelm

On behalf of the Children and Technology committee, we hope you also learn from this podcast and are inspired to use innovative technology in your own ALSC work.

This blog post addresses the following ALSC Core Competency

Stays informed of current trends, emerging technologies, issues, and research in librarianship, child development, early and family literacy, education, and allied fields (VII. Professionalism and Professional Development)

This podcast  helps further the following 2023-2026 ALSC Strategic Initiative:

Identifying and implementing strong communication practices across the association

Image of blog post author Manuela Aronofsky

Manuela Aronofsky is a 2022-2024 Children & Technology committee co-chair. She is also the Middle School Technology Integrator and digital essentials teacher at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, New York. She earned her MLIS from Pratt Institute in December 2019. Contact info and more can be found at

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