LISNews Netcast Network

LISTen: An Podcast -- Episode #72

This week's podcast is going to sound perhaps a little different. We were testing out our field equipment profile in a new location. I was dog-sitting a bull dog and her puppies so the usual recording location was a no go.

The episode starts off with the zeitgeist review. Per usual, we look at the week's top ten stories by hits and by comments and bring you the lower half of each. The LISNews daily e-mails (you are subscribed to them, aren't you?) typically bring you the first half.

After that we relay three stories from Radio New Zealand International. As the crisis in Fiji continues to heat up, press freedoms are being curtailed and journalists are being jailed. The three stories relate to how the knowledge ecology is being fundamentally altered in the island nation by the military regime presently in power so as to stamp out dissent. Fiji was a Westminster-style parliamentary democracy as recently as December 2006.

With the relay out of the way, discussion of the recent Google and Twitter issues is presented from the perspective of libraries operating within the overall reach of their funding agencies. The concept of Service Level Agreements is raised and discussed. That piece has been made available for licensing on Public Radio Exchange.

Related links:
Low-bandwidth version of this episode
Blog of Whitney Hess
Piece on the Google situation last week
Twitter on their recent change
Whitney Hess on Twitter's recent change
LinkedIn Profile of Andrea Mercado

21:48 minutes (8 MB)

Tech for Techies #12

This week we talk about the hardware and practicalities of recording an interview. We also rerun the Tech for Techies Segment #12 describing constructing the cell phone audio tap for interview purposes.

14:00 minutes (8 MB)

LISTen: An Podcast -- Episode #71

This week's episode is varied as to topics. First up is an interview with Jono Bacon, community manager for Ubuntu. Bacon talked to us about his upcoming Community Leadership Summit where librarians would be welcome as librarians. Also discussed was the nature of the Ubuntu release parties and how they help hold a community together.

After the chat with Bacon, a reading of the proposed Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act is presented. A brief round-up of comment out there on the bill currently in the United States House of Representatives is also raised. Following that further coverage of censorship in Fiji is presented through the relay of reports by Radio New Zealand International. Fiji was a Westminster-style parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth of Nations prior to the military coup in December 2006.

Related links:
Direct link to Profile America source audio for May 11th
Jono Bacon
Community Leadership Summit in San Jose in July
Direct link to Linux Outlaws promo
Text of H.R. 1966 at THOMAS
Defense on the Huffington Post by Representative Linda Sanchez of H.R. 1966
First look at H.R. 1966 by Wired's Threat Level blog
Second look at H.R. 1966 by Wired's Threat Level blog
Discussion by Colorado Springs Gazette of H.R. 1966
Discussion by The Guardian of H.R. 1966
Discussion by UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh of H.R. 1966 in response to Representative Sanchez
Multiple posts by Volokh on H.R. 1966
Direct link to Peace Corps source audio for the utilized PSA
Page including reference to RNZI's audio use permission grant
Story about two journalists being held in Fiji
Direct link to story audio used in the podcast, entitled: "Fiji school principal sacked after calling for elections"

28:22 minutes (8 MB)

Outsourcing outreach

Wandering through the iTunes Music Store, I noticed multiple library science-related podcasts that have faded out of existence. Programs like Uncontrolled Vocabulary and LibVibe no longer exist as going concerns. Some programs seem to potentially still exist but have gaps between episodes ranging between seven and ten months. Library Geeks shows gaps of up to ten months between individual episodes. LIS Radio from the University of Missouri-Columbia has not released a podcast since February 2009 and their webcast calendar is currently devoid of entries. Prior to the two programs in February 2009, nothing was released between then and July 2008. The only graduate programs with any consistent presence showing in the iTunes Music Store were San Jose State University and Indiana University.

Online expression can be tricky when it involves more than just writing. Academic settings are not the easiest places to locate such efforts. While Journalism and Mass Communication programs are used to hosting the operation of student newspapers and student radio stations, other disciplinary departments may not be similarly equipped. There are ways around this.

One might imagine that the 2008 accreditation standards of the ALA for library science graduate programs might include a explicit requirement for community outreach. Such does not actually appear within the standards explicitly although it is referenced by standard III.2. There is a possibility for a service act, though, that would require hopefully minimal effort.

As most ALA accredited graduate programs in library sciences in the United States are located at state-owned and/or state-funded institutions, it is understandable that there are budget woes presently. Nevada's state institutions of higher education were facing 36% overall budget cuts as it was when the current budget haggling started in Carson City. The most recent news reports indicate legislators are trying to keep cuts to the teens but negotiations are stalled right now.

Some institutions hosting ALA accredited graduate programs in library science are also home to National Public Radio affiliates. LISNews Netcast Network programming is slowly but surely being made available on Public Radio Exchange for potential licensing by those same National Public Radio affiliates. Public Radio Exchange is the middleman system whereby small producers and independent producers can make content available for National Public Radio affiliates to pick over. Right now we have individual segments posted but do not have any complete shows yet. Due to the rigid network clock in use, the indeterminate length of network programs week by week makes it rough for us to regularly offer standalone programs on PRX. With some re-packaging perhaps, Tech for Techies and Hyperlinked History might fit into Morning Edition slots.

With this being a time of doing more with less, I can at least bring something to the table. A nice bullet point for status reports on service could be made relative to an outreach effort. Sending a memo or otherwise twisting arms at a campus connected National Public Radio station about broadcasting LIS-related content could count as attempting outreach efforts. Nothing says a graduate program has to produce the material itself as materials could be distributed from the ALA as much as the LISNews Netcast Network. LIS-related content is already out there on one National Public Radio station, KUOW, with Nancy Pearl's book reviews. Unfortunately her program is only available on broadcast and as a podcast but is apparently not arranged for syndication to other broadcast stations.

The cost of writing a memo is understandably far smaller than putting together a full new media production operation. The cost of production itself is already borne by the LISNews Netcast Network so the graduate programs don't have to. If a graduate program wanted to work in partnership with the network, that can be discussed.

Writing a memo is a small thing. It is a start, though. At the least, it is a cheap option.

Tech for Techies #11

This week on Tech for Techies we talk about noise. Not only are we talking about it, we are giving you a plethora of sound bite examples for your listening pleasure.

11:38 minutes (8 MB)

Hyperlinked History- Starting Point by The Faceless Historian

If I'm counting things correctly, this is the tenth episode of Hyperlinked History! Who would've thought I'd squeeze ten episodes out of this thing? I wanted to throw out a quick thank you to all who've listened and I hope you're enjoying the series at least half as much as I enjoy making it. Big thanks to Stephen, Blake, and the gang here at LISNews too! You can't find better folks to work with.

This time around, join me as we take a ride from today's promise of the future to the distant past, over 3,600 years ago. Along the way we'll fly with the Hubble Space Telescope, meet an Austrian scientist, have a couple of revolutions, commit regicide, try communism, play tennis, visit some Gothic churches, liberate Sicily, and visit a library even older than Alexandria.

When you're taking such a long trip, you've really got to have a good Starting Point.

14:38 minutes (8 MB)

Thoughts - A Grab Bag Posting

Many things are going on so this is a consolidated post. Reader discretion is encouraged.

I. The LISNews Netcast Network Operating

So far, so good operationally. We're providing audio content for those who want it. We've been gaining non-librarian listeners for Hyperlinked History and Tech for Techies. A beautiful thing is when they outright tell me via that they're subscribing.

Network content always needs to grow. Our main focus in terms of content areas is to bring up matters with an applied focus. Pure library science is fine but we already have LISTen: An Podcast covering that somewhat. Some subject areas that are desired to get applied programming on include as examples: science in our lives, health science, transportation systems.

II. The Nature of the Network

Is the work of any network producer in creating programs an act of librarianship? I would definitely say no to that proposition. In the disciplinary spectrum, what the producers do is more appropriately mass communication and/or journalism. There is not a librarian way of podcasting or a nurse's way to podcast or a civil engineer's way to podcast. In the end, it is an art of mass communication.

III. The Network And The Public Radio Exchange

We've been trying hard to get pieces posted to Public Radio Exchange. The problem is getting stations to buy what we produce. I would love to have Hyperlinked History broadcast on National Public Radio stations across the United States as part of a block with Tech for Techies and highlights of LISTen. While we can get ourselves in front of stations, listener demand is far more important and useful. If you want to share the network with people beyond your wired-in, cloudy community then contact your local NPR affiliate today and ask their program director to pick us up.

IV. The Network And Listeners Abroad

Quotes have been sought for how much it would cost to get network programs relayed via shortwave to places abroad. For covering Europe we have a viable option with one US shortwave broadcaster. The cost of that will run about one hundred US dollars per month. For the Pacific, we're not so lucky. The quote we just got for relay coverage was for just under one hundred and ten US dollars per week. For those abroad with bandwidth restrictions, such as in Australia or New Zealand, this may be better in the long run in terms of one's cost in listening.

This is still very much a work in progress. We do not have the funds on-hand to approach this at this time. To reach European listeners, we'll have to pay out at least USD$1,200 for airtime. To reach listeners in the Pacific, we'll have to pay out USD$5,720 for airtime. As for operating our own station, frankly we could not afford the cost of that at all let alone secure the requisite license from the Federal Communications Commission.

Why the worries about listeners outside the United States? In many respects, there are apparently far more listeners outside the United States than within it. We're not the only ones in this state of affairs either, too.

Creative Commons License
Thoughts - A Grab Bag Posting by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at

Hyperlinked History To Change Days

I wanted to send out a heads up to the listeners of the LISNews Netcast Network and fans of Hyperlinked History that I will be changing the day I publish the show online. Due to some schedule changes and the madness that is a summer reading programme, this will be a lot easier for me to get a show up regularly.

Starting this week the show will go online every other Thursday around midnight, Eastern Time. For international folks that's Friday 04:00 UTC.

So when you don't see a show online tomorrow morning, you'll know why. Just wait another 24 hours, that's all!

LISTen: An Podcast -- Episode #70

This week's program is fairly brief. A rough transcript is available after the "read more" jump. E-mail subscribers should follow this link. As an experiment, a low-fidelity version of this episode is available for manual download here for those with lower speed links or severe bandwidth restrictions. -- Read More

4:43 minutes (8 MB)

Tech for Techies #10

This week's edition of Tech for Techies talks about the joy of administration in producing content. Content production, while fun, cannot necessarily be divorced from dealing with funding the operation. Historical precedents from the shortwave realm are brought in to illuminate discussion of today's conditions.

13:53 minutes (8 MB)
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