Skip Navigation
Falvey Library
You are exploring: Home > Blogs

Have no fear: there’s a podcast out there for you (Part 3: staff picks)


Welcome to the third and final installment of our blogging podcasts series. In this installment we will link to information on different platforms available for listening to /streaming podcasts and provide the rest of our staff podcast picks.

As with our previous posts, we’d love to hear from you, our readers, about your favorite podcasts. Also, please feel free to ask any questions you might have regarding Falvey Memorial Library’s podcasts or the staff picks you’ve seen posted here.

While many of us (cough) iPhone-users (cough) just use our OS’s standard podcast streaming app, there is actually a variety of options for getting your podcast fix. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel by going into detail about all of the options out there; follow the links below to check out option for podcast listening. I personally just use Apple’s standard podcast app, but we got a few shout outs from library staff for Stitcher, which is available for free on both Andriod and iOS phones.

9 podcast apps for the iPhone and iPad

6 podcast apps for Android

Today’s Podcast Picks come from: Chris Hallberg, library technology development specialist; Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator; Laura Matthews, library events and outreach specialist; Rob LeBlanc, first-year experience/humanities librarian; and Joanne Quinn, team leader of Communication and Service Promotion.

You may notice that the format for staff picks this week will vary from person to person. I received so many great responses to my call for podcast suggestions that I want to make sure the individuality and enthusiasm of each respondent shines through in their recommendations.

Chris’s Podcast Picks:
I cannot recommend them more highly. I’m a podcast junkie because I can’t read on the train. I normally listen through the Podcast app on my iPhone, but Stitcher is what I used while I was still on Android. I’m trying to lessen my dependence on iTunes, but I haven’t found a good podcast alternative yet. A lot of the podcasts I love have joined forces and started a collective (Radiotopia), so I normally discover new podcasts when they’re recommended by my old podcasts.


99% Invisible (about 20 minutes, iTunes)

entertaining and thought-provoking weekly show featuring interviews, stories, and biographies. Sets the standard for modern podcasts. I cannot recommend 99PI enough. I don’t remember how I found it, but I always look forward to it. It is a perfect combination of relaxing tone and pace with exciting information. My favorite episode is The Color of Money:

imagesDan Carlin’s Hardcore History (very long and irregularly updated)

If you are a fan of history or good story-telling, Dan Carlin delivers. Dan Carlin’s epic podcast took me from hating history class to wanting to teach it. By pulling in both eloquently informed and heart-breakingly intimate sources, Dan Carlin turns events from history into incredible drama. Installments are usually 1.5 hours long but can be over 4 hours. He just finished a series on WWII (incredible) and his series on the Wrath of the Khans is still available for free.


And three of Chris’s favorite fictional podcasts:  Welcome to Night Vale (surreal news bulletins from another dimension, dark comedy), We’re Alive (zombie survival series, intense drama), The Truth (biweekly, standalone stories).

Michael’s Podcast Picks:

I love podcasts and audio is also my friend on hikes and on the commute. I’m always looking for new—and interesting—podcasts.

I listen to them in the car with a Bluetooth speaker from my iPhone, on my Mac, and on my iPod nano when hiking; I use Apple software—primarily iTunes or Apple Podcast—to manage my podcasts.

cover170x170Entitled Opinions (philosophy, literature, music)


The Long Now (technology, sustainability)


Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff—two of the best modern game designers talk about games, genre TV, literature, movies and story broadly construed. My favorite.

Michael also recommends Hardcore History, recommended by Chris (above), and Backstory, recommended by Laura Bang in our second podcast blog.

Laura’s Podcast Picks:
I have gotten into podcasts within the past year. Prior to upgrading to a newer iPhone, I listened to Serial and various TED Talks on the computer. The newer iPhone’s have a podcast app all ready to go. With my handy dandy new phone, I listen to podcasts more frequently.


Dear Sugar I like Dear Sugar because the stories are usually inspiring, relatable, encouraging or uplifting. My sister told me about Dear Sugar. Cheryl Strayed is the host and she wrote Wild which we both have read. Cheryl is a pretty righteous kick-butt woman.


This American Life is usually fascinating and shares stories, events and lifestyles that are, more often than not, new to me. The other day I was baking while listening to 559: Captain’s Log and learned about a concentration camp in China that housed groups of Girl Scouts (!) What?! I had no idea that ever occurred. I am fairly certain I never learned about that in school.


Ted Radio Hour really makes me think. With talks like “Do We Need Humans?” and “Why We Lie?” I am always left questioning, thinking, wondering. Ted Radio Hour definitely doesn’t fail to make my brain start buzzing.

Rob’s Podcast Pick:


Got to go with Radiolab. They have the most fascinating, intelligent, touching and weird stories I’ve ever heard; I’ve loved every episode. Has full 1 hour podcasts and ½ hour shorts. I discovered them through NPR’s This American life, which I also love.

Joanne’s Podcast Picks:


First, let’s get this out of the way and admit my crush on The Tech Guy Leo LaPorte who is the king of TWiT – a wide compendium of about 28 podcasts that provides a flurry of daily updates on Apple, Google, smartphones and even big screen TVs. Leo is boisterous, speaks loudly over his guests and regales us every chance he gets with tales of feuds he’s been embroiled in over his long career. He’s a bit of a boor – but never boring. I believe there are as many ways to access TWiT as there are shows. I prefer Stitcher, but their cool little iPhone app makes TWiT a button push away and uses only 5MB space. 


Also indispensable: I love Marcus Sheridan The Sales Lion, mostly for his incredible ease behind the mike. 


The Echo Chamber: a fortnightly from the UK for PR professionals; I often marvel over how these pros are giving away their insights for free.


If you love books and reading (and we think you do!), you can’t miss the Book Riot and Dear Book Nerd.


The Media Project is another favorite – it’s a throwback to my days at the Delco Times, when we could still smoke in the newsroom and talk smack about the day’s news with a bunch of ink-stained newspaper folks.  


Can I add one more? I love the Social Media Marketing Happy Hour—if only for the little musical ditty they play before every show. It makes me happy! But don’t let the “Hour” moniker fool you—shows are usually just about 10 min. and, quite frankly, hosts/Internet entrepreneurs Dawn and Traci spend most of that time expressing their admiration for each other. Nevertheless, there’s usually always a quick take away or new tool useful for social media managers. 

As I mentioned, I favor Stitcher almost exclusively for podcasts, though I must mention it does use data if you’re listening in the car or walking the dog as it live streams the shows as opposed to downloading them to your phone. But when you have as many apps competing for space on a 16GB phone as I do, saving space is a prime consideration. I really look forward to the day when “connected” car-based podcast listeners become standard in all models. 

SarahArticle by Sarah Wingo, team leader- Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.



No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment


Last Modified: August 6, 2015

Ask Us: Live Chat
Back to Top