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5 Great Library Podcasts

By September 14, 2018January 7th, 2023Jennifer Recommends
Podcast review

5 Great Library Podcasts

The best things in life are free, and that includes both podcasts and libraries.  Imagine what happens when you put them together…

It comes as no surprise that librarians have been in the vanguard of using podcasts to help spread the word about the great things you can find in the hallowed halls of your public library. 

This summer, economist Panos Mourdoukoutas published an article on Forbes Magazine’s website entitled:  “Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money,” which quite deservedly garnered a ton of negative backlash, so much so that Forbes took the article down from their site.  But the debate lingered, with many libraries gleefully reporting an uptick in their membership as a result.  

If you know my work, you know that I am a huge library lover.  I head to a library to work on my fiction and I find it incredibly hard to produce good work from anywhere else.  And it doesn’t matter where the library is — the result is always the same.   Every place I go, I try to visit a library if only to have a poke around and see what it’s like inside.  You can learn a lot about a country from their libraries.  I feel at home in a library — be it in Reykjavik (they have a great one) or Riga (they have a stupendous one).  

Last weekend, I literally stood up and cheered when I read Eric Klinenberg’s compelling Opinion Piece in The New York Times: To Restore Civil Society, Start With the Library.  I highly recommend reading it through — it makes a very persuasive argument for grounding the return to civil society in our public libraries, something I’ve long thought could be the key to our eventual recovery from the current division in our society.

Klinenbergs’s piece reminded me of how many wonderful podcasts are being produced by libraries and librarians, so I happily shelved the podcast review I had planned for this weekend and decided to explore the full panoply of library podcasts. This has been a real joy: although I was subscribed to one or two library podcasts, I discovered so many new ones.  It is no surprise that librarians have been in the vanguard of using podcasts to help spread the word about the great things you can find in the hallowed halls of your public library.  

Here are five exceptional library podcasts to enjoy!  

Jennifer Recommends:

5 Great Library Podcasts

Great for: a longish car ride, a mountain of laundry

Library Talks from the New York Public Library

From the great people who brought you twin lions called Patience and Fortitude comes a podcast series that will set you up for months to come.  These are recordings of live talks by and discussions with authors and thinkers at the New York Public Library’s branches.  Hosted by Aidan Flax-Clark, Events Manager, these are the authors you love and the ones you’re just learning about.  I often find real gems and race to put books on my library’s hold list — a service privilege I take full advantage of.

New Episodes drop each Sunday and are about an hour long.  

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Perfect for: a weekend stroll, meal prep

The Free Library of Philadelphia

If you believe that the best things in life really are free, then the Free Library of Philadelphia is perhaps one of the more persuasive arguments.   This hallowed institution has been in the forefront of the podcast revolution.  The Parkway Central Library’s events feature authors in discussion with patrons or delivering talks, and this popular podcast is a great way to experience them.  Episodes are posted shortly after events happen, but the backlist is extensive, so there is no fear of running out any time soon.  

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Great for: mitigating the woes of public transportation

The Library Bytegeist

There are a ton of podcasts by librarians about being librarians out there, but this one, brought to you by the Metropolitan New York Library Council is relevant for all book lovers and knowledge seekers.  Hosted by Molly Schwartz, the podcast episodes range in length depending on the topic, which might be anything from a deep dive into the fascinating story of the Dewey Decimal System to a discussion on how libraries grapple with the sticky issue of privacy of its patrons.   

I’ve learned a ton about how to go about finding the information Google won’t deliver from this podcast, while also learning more about how libraries are growing into the digital age while still remaining incredibly relevant and necessary to the communities they serve.  It’s always infectious to listen to people who are passionate about what they do speak about their subjects, and that’s what this podcast consistently delivers.  I’m usually wary about recommending a podcast with so few episodes, but I have a feeling this one is here to stay!

Great for: getting you going in the morning or anytime you are in a book rut

The Librarian is In

Gwen Glazer and Frank Collerius are two hard-working librarians in the New York Public Library system, but I like to think of them as the Will and Grace of the book world.  I subscribed to The Librarian is In a few months ago, and it has fast become a regular in my weekly listens. Not only to Frank and Gwen offer excellent suggestions for great books in all genres, but they also take us behind the scenes to show us how a library system works and how it can best be used for everything from finding hard-to-locate sources to getting the inspiration you need to finish your creative project. 

The format ranges from interviews with other librarians and book lovers to casual discussions between Gwen and Frank about books and libraries.  

 The discussions are informal, fresh, and fun.   I get the sense that the podcast is pitched towards a slightly younger listener, but this should not prevent readers and book lovers of all ages from tuning in.  

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Great for: elevating your audio experience

Oxford University’s Bodleian Libraries Podcasts: The BODcasts


My enthusiasm for this podcast knows no bounds!  This is a treasure trove of lectures, talks, and symposia from Oxford’s storied Bodleian Libraries.  This is a massive library network of 28 separate libraries, which includes the iconic round building.  Together, the network is home to over 12 million printed items, including rare and historically significant documents.  

The BODcasts are definitely for you if your tastes are eclectic and/or scholarly, or if you enjoyed In Our Time by Melvyn Bragg, you will be just as excited about these lectures, available in audio and video format. The subjects include range across disciplines, including history, linguistics, law, politics, and others.  

The only drawback to The BODcasts is that they are not universally available on all of the apps and listening platforms, but this matters less than other more episodic podcasts.  The BODcasts, technically are more archive than a classic podcast series, but that isn’t going to stop me from listening.  I’ve found the best success streaming them on my desktop from the university website listed below. 

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Jennifer Eremeeva Recommends 5 Great Library Podcasts
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Thank you for stopping by!

Let’s stay connected!

Thank you all so much for your overwhelming response to last week’s kick off to this series!  I’m delighted it resonates with you and that you want to hear more.  If you find a great podcast, let the rest of us know about it there.

If you haven’t already, please do subscribe to receive updates each Saturday when the new list goes up.  

Below, you’ll find more information on the kind of subjects I write about — it’s an eclectic list!  I’ve also included links to previous posts about travel, cuisine, history, and lifestyle topics.  I hope you’ll enjoy browsing around.

This post does contain affiliate links.  Any purchases you choose to make via these links will net me a small commission from the retailer.  I use these funds to support the maintenance and development of this website.  

Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.

I hope you’ll consider staying connected with me by subscribing to receive regular updates or joining the conversation on Facebook, Twitter,  Instagram, and Pinterest!



I write features and posts about a wide range of travel-related topics.  I love to “follow” someone famous (and dead) around a city.  I collect books about travel destinations and love to share them here with you.


Exploring food markets, developing recipes, and just eating was once my hobby, but now it is a full-time job.  I write about food markets around the world, develop recipes, and study culinary history and emerging trends.  I have a particular interest in Russian and Eastern European cuisine and culinary history.


I believe that great books are part of a life well lived and this extends to audio entertainment.  Under the Lifestyle umbrella, I review books, podcasts, and audiobooks, I discuss writing and reading and am constantly on the lookout for new ways to be productive and clear all manner of clutter from my life.

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